Further to our article on The Post Brexit plans for EU Nationals, we now explore the details of the application process of the EU settled scheme proposed by the government following the UK’s departure from the EU. This transitional scheme will run from 29 March 2019 until 31 December 2020. There will be two types of status:
- Settled Status
- Pre-settled Status
The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.
- Settled or pre-settled status application process
Following Brexit, EU citizens will need to apply for either settled or pre-settled status. The former is for those that have lived in the UK for 5 or more years and the latter for those who have not.
Significantly, the Home Office will be looking for reasons to grant and not refuse settled or pre settled status.
As part of the application, the applicant will need to prove their identity by sending their identity document to the Home Office. This will be returned once identity has been confirmed, rather than being kept for the entirety of the application. They will also have to pay a fee of £65 (£32.50 for those under 16 years of age).
In most cases, as the Home Office will pro-actively liaise with other Government departments, an applicant will only need to provide their National Insurance number to enable the Home Office to undertake a ‘real time’ check on government records to determine the length of residence. For those that have no records with the government, evidence similar to that already required for permanent residence applications will need to be provided. This can include bank statements or utility bills and a non-exhaustive list will be published by the Home Office as a source of guidance.
The Home Office will not be looking for an exercise of treaty rights when granting status. It therefore will not be necessary to prove that you are a ‘qualified person’, for instance a worker or student, in order to apply for status after 29 March 2019. The Home Office are instead simply looking at residence.
In addition, employers will have no responsibility to communicate any information to employees who are EU nationals or pay their application fee. However, all employers will be required to ensure employees within their organisation have the correct immigration status. Following the end of the transitional arrangements as from 1 July 2021 all EU nationals must hold one of these two statuses.
- Issuing of Status
Under the transitional arrangements, settled or pre-settled status will be issued in the form of a digital record. This will be linked to the EU national’s identity document and will show on an online system when arriving at a border. Further documents, such as new passports, can be added by logging into this online system.
Stone King advises any employer with EU employees to seek support and advice to ensure you are fully prepared for Brexit.