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EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME PRE-SETTLED STATUS

EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME PRE-SETTLED STATUS

The EU Settlement Scheme is open to resident EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and who wish to remain in the UK after 30 June 2021.  

Eligible persons who have not completed a continuous 5 year period of qualifying residence in the UK will be granted a period of 5 years’ limited leave, also known as Pre-Settled Status.  An application for Settled Status can be submitted once a 5 year period of qualifying residence in the UK has been completed.

Requirements for Pre-Settled Status

In order to qualify for Pre-Settled Status you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

  • You are a relevant EEA citizen; or
  • You are a family member of a relevant EEA citizen; or
  • You are a family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen; or
  • You are a person with a derivative right to reside; or
  • You are a person with a Zambrano right to reside; and
  • You started living in the UK by 31 December 2020; and
  • You are not eligible for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme solely because you have not completed a continuous qualifying period of residence of at least 5 years.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

To discuss your EU Settlement Scheme Pre-Settled Status application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our EU Settlement Scheme lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

What is Pre-Settled Status?

Pre-Settled Status is granted to applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme who are not able to demonstrate 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK.

You will need to have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

You will be able to stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you are granted Pre-Settled Status.

If you have Pre-Settled Status, you will be able to spend up to 2 years outside the UK without losing your status.  However, you will need to maintain ‘continuous residence’ if you want to qualify for Settled Status. See our EU Settlement Scheme Settled Status page for further details.

Once you can demonstrate 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK you will be eligible to apply for Settled Status. This application must be submitted before your Pre-Settled Status expires.

Who should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?

You should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen.

You should also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen but you are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen.

Relevant family members include the spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, as well as the child, grandchild or great-grandchild under 21 years old, dependent child over the age of 21, dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent or dependent relative of either an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or their spouse or civil partner.

Who else can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?

You may be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and:

  • You are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen who has passed away or from whom you have separated or where the family relationship has broken down;
  • You are a family member of a British citizen and you lived outside the UK in an EEA country together;
  • You are a family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship;
  • You are the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen;
  • You are the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, or the child’s primary carer.

Who does not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?

You do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you have been granted indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK or you have Irish citizenship (including British and Irish ‘dual citizenship’).  

You cannot apply if you have British citizenship or are exempt from immigration control.

You also do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you work in the UK but do not live here (referred to as a ‘Frontier Worker’).  You should instead consider applying for a Frontier Worker Permit.  Non-EEA citizen family members of Frontier Workers should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Pre-Settled Status Rights

If you are granted Pre-Settled Status you will have a full right to work, study, live and travel in and out of the UK. 

Deadline for Applying to the EU Settlement Scheme

The deadline for applying for Pre-Settled Status is 30 June 2021. You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, unless you are a family member of an EEA national who has resided in the UK before that date and your relationship began before 31 December 2020.

Applying from Outside the UK

It is possible to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme from inside or outside the UK.  Non-EEA nationals need to meet additional requirements to be eligible to apply from outside the UK.

Application Fee for an EU Settlement Scheme Pre-Settled Status application

The Home Office does not charge an application fee for an EU Settlement Scheme Pre-Settled Status application.

Applicants for EU Settlement Scheme Pre-Settled Status are also not required to pay the Immigration Health Charge.

EU Settlement Scheme Processing Times

It typically takes about 5 working days for an EU Settlement Scheme application to be processed, if no further information is required.  However, it can take up to 1 month for a decision to be made.  It is currently taking longer than usual to process applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Bringing Family Members to the UK

EEA and EU citizens with Pre-Settled Status can be joined in the UK by close family members before 31 December 2020.  Swiss nationals can be joined in the UK by their spouse or civil partner before 31 December 2025. The close family member will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once in the UK.

From 1 January 2021, EEA and EU citizens with Pre-Settled Status will be able to bring close family members to the UK if their relationship began before 31 December 2020 and the relationship is still continuing.

Swiss nationals will be able to bring a spouse or civil partner to the UK until 31 December 2025 if the relationship began between 31 December 2020 and 31 December 2025 and the relationship is continuing.

How Our Immigration Barristers Can Help

Our immigration barristers regularly assist EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.  

Whether you require expert advice on the requirements of the EU Settlement Scheme, an independent assessment of your prospects of qualifying for the EU Settlement Scheme or professional assistance with preparing an EU Settlement Scheme application or appeal, our immigration barristers can help.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members as part of a professional and friendly service.

We can also assist with

  • Applications for EU Settlement Scheme Family Permits

    The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit is available to non-EEA citizens who wish to travel to and enter the UK in order to join or accompany a close family member who is a relevant EEA citizen, including EEA or Swiss nationals with ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

    In order to qualify for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You are a non-EEA citizen;
    • You are the close family member of a relevant EEA citizen;
    • The relevant EEA citizen is resident in the UK or will be travelling to the UK within 6 months;
    • You will be accompanying the relevant EEA citizen to the UK or joining them in the UK;
    • You are not the spouse, civil partner or durable partner of a relevant EEA citizen where either you or your partner have been granted an EEA Family Permit issued under the EEA Regulations or otherwise have been granted leave under or outside the Immigration Rules.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for EU Settlement Scheme Settled Status

    In order to qualify for Settled Status you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You are a relevant EEA citizen; or
    • You are a family member of a relevant EEA citizen; or
    • You are a family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen; or
    • You are a person with a derivative right to reside; or
    • You are a person with a Zambrano right to reside; and
    • You started living in the UK by 31 December 2020; and
    • You have completed a continuous qualifying period of residence of at least 5 years.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for British Citizenship

    Applications for British Citizenship can usually be submitted after Settled Status has been held for 12 months and other requirements have been met.

    In order to be naturalised as a British citizen, you will need to meet certain statutory criteria with regard to your immigration status, length of residence in the UK, future intentions, knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, and good character.  The requirements for British Citizenship by Naturalisation vary slightly depending on whether you are married to a British citizen or not.

  • Fresh applications, Appeals, Administrative Reviews and Judicial Reviews

    If your application to the EU Settlement Scheme has been refused or you think you should have been granted a different status, our immigration barristers can advise on the merits of making a fresh application or challenging the decision.

    It is possible to submit a fresh application to the EU Settlement Scheme until 30 June 2021.

    If you applied to the EU Settlement Scheme after 11pm on 31 January 2020 then our immigration barristers can represent you in appeal proceedings before the Immigration Tribunal.

    If the decision-maker failed to apply the Immigration Rules or Home Office policy correctly, we can bring Administrative Review proceedings to challenge the decision.

    If the decision to refuse your application was unlawful, unreasonable or procedurally improper, our immigration barristers can apply for Judicial Review and provide representation at Judicial Review hearings.

WHAT CAN WE HELP YOU WITH?

To arrange an initial consultation meeting with one of our immigration barristers, contact our EEA Nationals and Family Members immigration team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry

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