EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status)

Our Solicitor Asya Chaudhry’s analysis of the law that will apply to EU nationals from 01.01.2021

The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021, except for in a few cases.
EU, EEA or Swiss Nationals
Need to be resident in the UK by 11:00pm on 31 December 2020 to apply.
Applicants should apply as soon as possible as it will become increasingly difficult to prove their right to housing, a job, healthcare or benefits without pre-Settled or Settled Status. If they leave the UK after 1st January 2021 they will be required to show their immigration document on return. If they have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, then they may be admitted to the UK as a Visitor which means they may not be able to continue to work or study.
This is the link to the ‘grace period regulations’.
EEA nationals arriving in the UK on or after 1 January 2021 will need to apply for leave to enter under the Immigration Rules for a specific purpose, such as, to visit, work or study.
Family Members
Relevant family members can join EEA nationals in the UK before 31 December 2020 (or before 31 December 2025 for spouses and civil partners of Swiss citizens). Once here they need to apply under the scheme.
Eligible family members are:
  • spouse
  • civil partner
  • durable partner (unmarried partnership akin to marriage or civil partnership)
  • child, grandchild or great-grandchild (including of the spouse or civil partner)
  • dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent (including of the spouse or civil partner)
  • dependent relative (including, in some cases, of the spouse or civil partner)
After 31st December 2020
EEA nationals can continue to bring close family members to the UK at any point in the future if the following apply:
  • EU citizen has settled or pre-settled status. If they have not they will need to apply first.
  • Their relationship with the family member began before 31 December 2020. (Except in the case of a child who was born or adopted after that date).
  • you are still in the relationship when they apply to join you
They will have three months from their arrival in which to make an application for status under the EUSS (or until 30 June 2021 if they arrive before 1 April 2021).
Close family members are: spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners and dependent children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents. Family members do not need to be from the EU, they can come from anywhere in the world.
Family member of a British citizen (‘SurinderSingh’ applications)
Must have lived with British Citizen in an EU or EEA country (or Switzerland) before 1 January 2021, and be:
  • their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
  • under 21 years old, and are their child or grandchild
  • 21 years or older, and are their dependent child or grandchild
  • their dependent parent or grandparent
  • another dependent relative
The country they lived in together must have been their main residence and British Citizen member must have been working, studying or self-sufficient in the country while there.
They cannot use the online service to apply. You will need to call the EU resolution helpline and request a paper application for each applicant. They will send out an application.
Deadlines under this route
The deadline for return to the UK depends on therelationship with the family member.
1. They must return and apply by 29 March 2022 if they are
  • the spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of a British Citizen and their relationship started before 1 February 2020.
  • under 21 years old, and are their child or grandchild
  • 21 years or older, and are their dependent child or grandchild
  • their dependent parent or grandparent.
2. They must return by 31 December 2020, and apply by 30 June 2021, if they are:
  • their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner and theirrelationship started on or after 1 February 2020
  • another dependent relative
If they are a spouse or civil partner, their dependent child, grandchild, parent or grandparent can also apply. They must return and apply by the same date.

Frequently Asked Questions

BRC issued under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)?
A BRC will not be valid after 31 December 2020.
If you have pre-Settled or Settled Status you should use the following link to upgrade your BRC issued under the EEA regulations to a BRC issued under the EU Settlement Scheme:
If applicant did not already have a BRC the home office will issue usually them with one. If they already had one they will not issue a replacement one.
Can I enter the UK without my  EU passport after 31 December 2020 ?
EU nationals with Settled or pre-Settled Status need their valid passport linked to their EUSS status when travelling to or from the UK. If you have changed your passport or ID card, you will need to up date the records held by the Home Office in relation to your (pre-)Settled Status.
Can a non EU national get married to an EU National after 31st December 2020 and apply under the EUSS Scheme as a family member?
Future family members of a relevant EEA citizen (other than relevant children born or adopted after this date), for example a spouse or civil partner where the marriage or civil partnership was not formed by 31 December 2020 (and the couple were not durable partners by that date) will not be eligible to apply for status under the EUSS and will need to apply under the UK family Immigration Rules.
What is a ‘durable partner’?
Appendix EU Defines as durable partner
(a) the person is, or (as the case may be) for the relevant period was, in a durable relationship with a relevant EEA citizen (or with a qualifying British citizen), with the couple having lived together in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two years (unless there is other significant evidence of the durable relationship); and
(b) the person holds a relevant document (as described in sub-paragraph (a)(i) or (a)(ii) of that entry in this table) as the durable partner of the relevant EEA citizen (or of the qualifying British citizen) for the period of residence relied upon, unless the date of application is after 31 December 2020 and the person was resident outside the UK at that date; and
(c) it is, or (as the case may be) for the relevant period was, not a durable partnership of convenience; and
(d) neither party has, or (as the case may be) for the relevant period had, another durable partner, a spouse or a civil partner with (in any of those circumstances) immigration status in the UK or the Islands based on that person’s relationship with that party
A relevant document is
• a family permit
• a residence card
Applications for residence cards need to be made before 31st December 2020. You will not be able to make an application for a residence card after this date.Residence cards will not be valid after 30 June 2021.
How long can I be out of the UK once granted pre-settled status?
To be eligible for settled status you must achieve five years of ‘continuous residence’. The applicant must not be absent from the UK for more than six months (in one stretch or cumulatively) in any 12-month period otherwise continuous residence is broken. If the absence limit is exceeded the five years ‘continuous residence’ must be started all over again. Absences up to two years in a row are permitted under pre-settled status however you will NOT be eligible to progress to full settled status, as maintaining continuous residence is essential for settled status. The list of ‘important reasons’, defined by the Home Office permits ‘one period of absence of more than six months but not exceeding 12 months’. The list is limited to specific events as defined by the Home Office.
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