Government Provides Update on EU Settlement Scheme

Last week the government published a policy document providing important confirmations about the transitional scheme in place from March 2019, specifically, what will happen in the event of not reaching a deal with the EU.

For more detail about the EU Settlement Scheme please see our previous article: Post brexit eu nationals settled status application.

A No Deal Scenario

Much needed clarity was finally provided by the government regarding the situation if the UK leaves without a deal. It has been confirmed that in such a situation, the settlement scheme will stay in place and continue to be implemented.

One important difference in the event of a no deal is however the deadline for applying. The current deadline is the 31 of December 2020 and previously there was a grace period after this deadline outlining that every EU national in the UK must hold one of these statuses by the 1 July 2021. Under a no deal, this would not be a place and every EU national must hold one of these statuses by the 1 January 2021.

Access to Benefits and Services

The policy document does confirm that under a no deal scenario, EU citizens will still be able to access benefits and services in the UK such as healthcare, education, social housing and homelessness assistance.

The Basis for a Decision

The government have also confirmed that it will be looking for reasons to grant rather than refuse applications for settled or pre settled status. This will come as a relief to many EEA nationals seeking to secure their rights in the UK.

Under the settlement scheme it will only be necessary to prove that you have been resident in the UK for 5 years, rather than that you have been working or a student during this time.

In order to prove this, an EEA national can just provide their national insurance number and the Home Office will proactively check other government departments to confirm the residence period. Alternatively, documents such as bank statements can be used to prove how long you have been in the UK.

The law and practice referred to in this article has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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