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EU Settlement Scheme and Exiting the European Union - Brexit

The deadline has now passed but late applications are being accepted. However, the EUSS family permit deadline of 29 March 2022 is approaching. 

By the end of January 2022, over 6.44 million applications have been made to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, of which 386,600 were received after the 30 June 2021 deadline.

More than 6.13 million applications have been concluded of which 681,600 were concluded after 30 June 2021.

3.15 million (51% of concluded applications) were granted settled status and 2.53 million (41%) were granted pre-settled status, totalling nearly 5.7 million grants of status.

Of the remaining applications, 115,700 (2%) received a withdrawn or void outcome, 112,000 (2%) were invalid and 218,800 (4%) were refused.

The deadline for EUSS applications for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 has now passed. However, eligible EU, EEA, Swiss citizens and their family members who did not apply by 30 June 2021 can make a late application where there are reasonable grounds to do so at www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme.  

There is no deadline for applications from eligible joining family members, who can join those with EUSS status at any point, provided they apply to the EUSS within 3 months of their arrival in the UK. Further information for joining family members is available here on GOV.UK.  

EUSS family permit deadline approaching - 29 March 2022 

The deadline to apply for an EUSS family permit as the family member of a British citizen returning to the UK from an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland is approaching soon on 29 March 2022. The EUSS family permit allows certain family members of British citizens who have lived with them in that country since before 31 December 2020, and while the British citizen exercised free movement rights there, to come to the UK with that British citizen. The family member can then apply here to the EUSS 

To be eligible to do so, the family member must be the British citizen's spouse, civil partner or durable partner (where the marriage or partnership was formed before the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020); a child or grandchild under 21; a dependent child or grandchild over 21; or a dependent parent or grandparent. Where the family member comes to the UK with an EUSS family permit issued on that basis for which they applied by 29 March 2022, they will have reasonable grounds for applying here to the EUSS after the 29 March 2022 deadline applicable under the scheme to this cohort. They should apply to the EUSS as soon as they reasonably can following their arrival in the UK.  

Full details and eligibility criteria of who can apply are available on GOV.UK.  

Note that this is different to the joining family member route, which has no deadline for EUSS family permit applications and, in line with the Citizens' Rights Agreements, is designed to allow certain close family members to join an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who was living in the UK before the end of the transition period and has EUSS status.  

Key points to remember about the EU Settlement Scheme 

Support is still available to those who need help to make a late application to the scheme. Please help us reach these people by sharing the link to services across your channels www.gov.uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme

There remains scope for a person eligible for status under the EUSS to make a late application to the scheme where there are reasonable grounds for having missed the deadline. We have published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for missing the deadline on GOV.UK.  

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who make a valid late EUSS application will have temporary protected rights in the UK until they receive an outcome of their EUSS application. More information can be found on GOV.UK. 

Applicants who have made a valid application will be issued with a Certificate of Application, which can be relied on to evidence their rights in the UK. Certificates of application are available to applicants by signing into the view and prove service at www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status. Those who submitted a paper application will have a certificate of application sent to them by post. 

As people may increasingly be considering international travel, it is important for individuals with status under the EUSS to update their UKVI account with all valid identity documents (such as passports or national identity cards) they hold and intend to use for travel. This can help to avoid any unnecessary delays at the UK border, and can be done online by going to www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status 

Non-EEA nationals who hold EUSS status and are a visa national (that is, they are a national of a country which would mean they would normally require a visa to visit the UK) should travel internationally with their valid Biometric Residence Card (BRC) and present it at the border to prevent delays. If their BRC has expired, or been lost or stolen, they should apply for a replacement on GOV.UK while they are in the UK and ensure they have it with them when they travel. Anyone with EUSS status whose BRC expires, or is lost or stolen, whilst they are abroad should apply for a free EUSS travel permit at www.gov.uk/euss-travel-permit in order to return to the UK. Once back in the UK, they can apply for a replacement BRC. 

Eligible close family members living overseas as of 31 December 2020 can apply to join an EU, EEA or Swiss family member who started living in the UK by then. They should apply to the EUSS from outside the UK (where they are eligible to do so) or they should apply for an EUSS family permit to come to the UK to make their EUSS application. There is no deadline for them to come to the UK. They can join such a family member with pre-settled or settled status at any point, although if they have not already done so they need to make an EUSS application within 3 months of their arrival in the UK if they wish to stay here. More information on joining family members can be found on GOV.UK. 

An application must be made for every eligible child within a family. Parents should check if they need to make a late application on behalf of their children, even if they have already applied to the EUSS and been granted a status themselves.  

Landlords and employers can use the Home Office view and prove service to confirm protected rights for an individual where they have a digital status. If the individual has a physical certificate of application, landlords and employers can call the government's checking services to confirm the individual's right to rent or work. Landlords and employers can find more information on GOV.UK.

How to access and update digital status

You can view your EUSS status online, via the view and prove your immigration status service.

Please refer to the following guide for further information about using your digital status: 'Your immigration status: an introduction for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens'.

 

Switching from EUSS pre-settled status to settled status 

Individuals with pre-settled status can apply to switch to settled status as soon as they are eligible. This is usually after they have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for five years in a row (known as 'continuous residence'). Note that it is the length of their continuous residence, and not the time elapsed since the grant of pre-settled status, which makes someone eligible for settled status. If you have spent more than 6 months outside the UK in a 12-month period, you may not be eligible for settled status.

To switch, a person must apply to the EUSS again before their pre-settled status expires. For further information, please refer to www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/switch-from-presettled-status-to-settled-status.

 

International Travel

When travelling to or from the UK we recommend that those who have been granted status through the EUSS use the same document to travel as they used to apply to the scheme. If travelling on a different document, they should update their UKVI account to add that document in good time before they travel.

They can do this by either using the 'Update your UK Visas and Immigration account details' service at www.gov.uk/update-uk-visas-immigration-account-details or by signing-in and using the 'update details' function of the View and Prove service at www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status.

For example, if someone used their passport to apply to the scheme and plans to travel using their national identity card, they should ensure that both documents are registered to their UKVI account. If they do not receive confirmation that the document has been successfully added to their UKVI account before they travel, they should, wherever possible, take both documents with them to avoid unnecessary delays at the border.

Changes to UK law following the UK's departure from the EU mean that most EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can now only enter the UK using a valid passport. This does not apply to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens with status under the EUSS, or who otherwise have protected rights under the Citizens' Rights Agreements. More information can be found at www.gov.uk/uk-border-control/before-you-leave-for-the-uk.  

Help with your application.

A range of support is still available to those who need help to apply after the deadline. If you or anyone you know needs help with an application, please either go to www.gov.uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme or contact the Settlement Resolution Centre on 0300 123 7379 or from outside the UK  +44 (0) 203 080 0010. Alternatively, you can ask a question in writing by email.

Two other organisations that will assist EU citizens applying to the EU Settlement Scheme are Citizens Advice Scotland and the EU Citizens' Rights Project.

UK and Scottish Governments and South Ayrshire Council have produced the following useful guidance about the UK leaving the EU that will help people and businesses:

There are also a number of other useful links with Brexit information, advice and guidance.