What is the EU Settlement Scheme and who needs to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?
Following the end of the transition period governing the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 31st December 2020, the immigration requirements for EEA nationals wishing to visit, live and work in the UK are being brought into line with those that apply to non-EEA nationals. This is a significant change to the UK residence rights of EEA nationals, which also affects entitlements to benefits and other services, and it is essential that eligible nationals make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021.
All eligible citizens (detailed below) must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 to continue to work, access public funds, services and remain legally in the UK.
All eligible citizens from the European Union and European Economic Area (who are not also British citizens), include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain or Sweden or Switzerland.
All EU/EEA nationals with permanent residence must also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June as this document is issued under EEA regulations which come out of force by 31 December 2020.
Irish citizens are not required to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme but can do so if they wish.
Family members (who may be citizens from EEA or non-EEA citizens) are also eligible to apply. Family members include:
- Civil partner
- Durable partner (unmarried partnership akin to marriage or civil partnership)- (where they hold a document under the EEA regulations confirming this status)
- 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)
- Other Family Member (where they hold a relevant document under the EEA regulations, including the relative of the spouse or civil partner where the applicant holds a relevant document in the UK as the result of an application made before 1 February 2017)
Family applications can be linked together (including EEA or non-EEA citizens). Children should apply to the scheme and where applications are linked together, children will be granted the same status as their parents. Family relationship will have to be evidenced however; this is usually easily to determine from Birth Certificates.
There are other individuals who are protected and are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, including:
- Non-EEA family members of British citizens (Surinder Singh). These cases involve British nationals who were living in another EEA country and exercising their free movement rights before returning to the UK
- Non-EEA family members with retained rightsâ. This might involve couples who have divorced and have resided in the UK, or possibly individuals who are divorced and victims of DV
- Non-EEA carers of a British children (Zambrano carers). This is a complex area, please seek specialist advice. â
- Non-EEA carers of EU child in the UK (Chen carers). This is a complex area please seek specialist advice. â
- Non-EEA carers of children (any nationality) of a former EU citizen worker who are in education in the UK (Ibrahim/Teixeira carers and children) â
- Others who need a right of residence in the UK in order for the children concerned to remain in the UK (e.g., other children of the primary carer)
If you require any support in making an application to the EU Settlement Scheme, have an enquiry or issue with your application, access free confidential independent and support email mailto:CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk
What documents are needed to apply to the EUSS?
Due to COVID-19, the Home Office will accept alternative evidence of identity due to circumstances beyond the individual’s control or due to compelling practical or compassionate circumstances. For example, if there is no functioning national authority to provide documentation and if an individual is a victim of modern slavery and documents have been retained by the trafficker.
If your passport or national identity document have expired, they may still be valid due to special regulations implemented because of COVID-19.
There is published guidance regarding expired passports or national identity documents with some countries automatically extending their validity. Full Government guidance, including details of extensions to expired documents, is available on the https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-caseworker-guidance
What happens if I don’t apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?
We strongly advise that all EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme do so before the scheme closes on 30 June 2021.
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and have not made an application to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021, you will become unlawfully present and will be at risk of losing access to employment and benefits, as well as being subject to other sanctions, such as being unable to rent from a private landlord in England or get free secondary healthcare. You could also be subject to Home Office enforcement action.
The Home Office has said, beyond 30 June 2021, late applications will be entertained if there is a ‘reasonable excuse’ for the delay. What reasonable excuse entails or means could be wide-ranging and it is unknown until it happens. Some examples of reasonable grounds have been provided:
- Children whose parent, guardian or local authority fails to apply on their behalf
- People in abusive or controlling relationships who were prevented from applying
- Those who lack the physical or mental capacity to apply
Further guidance has yet to be published on the process by which a person may, based on such reasonable grounds, seek a further period from the Home Office in which to make a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you are unsure as to whether you’re eligible to make an application, need support to make an application or have not applied by the 30 June 2021 deadline, please email mailto:CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk
My EUSS Application has been refused: Appeals Rights and Administrative Review
Some decisions under the EU Settlement Scheme can be challenged by an internal administrative review and/or an appeal. The decision letter will tell you whether there is the right to apply for an administrative review or to appeal and will provide links to further information on the process and the fees payable:
If you require legal/ immigration advice or support, please email mailto:CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk. Coventry Law Centre has experienced and specialist immigration lawyers who may be able to support or advise with appeals and administrative reviews.
I have submitted by EU Settlement Scheme Application but still have not received a decision. What can I do?
Once you have submitted your application to the EU Settlement Scheme, a Home Office decision-maker will review your application. Waiting times for a decision vary, some take a few days others may take months.
If you have been waiting longer than six months, since the date of submitting your application to the EU Settlement Scheme, please contact mailto:CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk for free support, advice and guidance. Coventry Law Centre, with your permission, may be able to check your application to see if there is an outstanding query or request for further documentation or, in some cases, liaise with the Home Office on your behalf to resolve any issues.
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens arriving to the UK after 31 December 2020: I was a resident in the UK before 31 December 2020
Citizens from the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for either Pre-Settled or Settled Status in order to maintain their legal status as well as their right to stay and work in the UK.
If you were a resident in the UK before 31 December 2020, you are legally not required to present any documentation or evidence of your immigration status (for example, visa, pre-settled or settled status etc.) up until 30 June 2021. However, if you are asked upon entry to the UK within this period you may wish to show your EU Settlement Scheme Unique Application Number or share code. https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status - this unique code is generated to each individual and is valid for two months before another needs to be generated.
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens arriving to the UK after 31 December 2020
- Arriving in the UK as a visitor
Citizens from the European Union or European Economic Area can enter the UK on or after 1 January 2021 as a visitor without the need of a visa.
Your passport or ID document should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK (up to 6 months). Visitors will be granted six months leave to enter as a visitor and will not be able to work or access public funds whilst they are in the UK.
Visitors from the European Union or European Economic Area, who are not registered under the EUSS can enter the UK with their national ID card up until 1st October 2021. After this date, all nationals visiting the UK will need a passport to enter the UK and will not be granted entry with a national ID card.
- Joining EU, EEA or Swiss family members in the UK
Family members (EEA and non-EEA) can join their EU, EEA or Swiss family in the UK via the EU Settlement Scheme family permit. This family relationship must have existed before 31st December 2020 (other than for Swiss nationals where the provisions are more generous). The only exception to this is for children born to a relevant sponsor (a person who has status under the EUSS). If they are born outside the UK at any time, they can join the sponsor in the United Kingdom.
The categories of ‘joining family members’ of a relevant sponsor who can apply for a EUSS family permit are:
- Civil partner
- Specified spouse or civil partner of a Swiss citizen
- 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)
Durable partners within the UK would need EEA/EUSS Family Permit or Biometric Residence Card issued under the regulations (before 31 December 2020) to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. However, they can still apply from abroad, in certain circumstances, if the relationship existed with an EEA national (or relevant sponsor), resident in the UK prior to 31 December 2020. If applying from outside of the UK to obtain an EUSS family permit, an individual (EEA or non-EEA national) must arrange and attend for a biometric appointment in their country of origin. Once issued, EUSS family permits are valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
Once a family member is in the UK via the EUSS family permit route, they are eligible to and have up until 30 June 2021 to apply for pre-settled status (allows family members to live and work in the UK beyond 30 June 2021), or within three months of their arrival date if they arrive after 1 April 2021. As part of this process, the individual must book an appointment with UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) in order to obtain a biometric residence card. https://www.gov.uk/ukvcas
If a family member secures pre-settled status, they should create a ‘share code’ which acts as digital proof of their immigration status. This shared code can then be viewed by authorities, shown at ports of entry or viewed by employers, proving an individual’s pre-settled immigration status. To create this code online you need your passport/national ID card number, date of birth and the mobile number or email address- all details must be the same as those used when you made your application for pre-settled status. https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status
More information regarding who are ‘eligible family members’ and the evidence to demonstrate this existing family relationship, required for this family permit, is available on the GOV.UK website. https://www.gov.uk/family-permit/eu-settlement-scheme-family-permit
- Entering the UK with a visa via a work route under the Skills-Based Immigration System (PBIS)
Citizens from the European Union or European Economic Area who arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021 to work must apply for a visa under the new Points-Based Immigration System (PBIS). This visa must be applied in advance of entry to the UK, only once you have a visa can you enter the UK to work.
EEA nationals will be issued with an e-visa which can be viewed through an online checking service.
To obtain a work visa under the Skills-Based Immigration System (PBIS) you must meet various requirements (for example, job offer from an approved sponsor, salary level, English level, sector of work, skill level) of the Skills-Based Immigration work visa routes. For each requirement met, you will score points. You must meet 70 points. Visas are then awarded by the Home Office to those who gain enough points against the different work visa routes. Work visa routes under the Points-Based Immigration System include:
- Skilled Worker Route
- Health and Care Visa is part of this work visa route
- Global Talent Route
- Graduate Route
- Intra-Company Transfer
- Other Routes
- Start-Up and Innovator
- Health and Care Visa
- Creative Route
- Sporting Routes
- Seasonal Workers Pilot
- Youth Mobility Scheme
Companies who sponsor your work visa under this immigration route must have a sponsor license in order to hire workers from outside the UK. Without this, they will receive a fine. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/register-of-licensed-sponsors-workers
- Other forms of entry to the UK for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-the-uk-as-an-eu-eea-or-swiss-citizen The website includes additional information that travellers may wish to read before entry to the UK.
What is the difference between Pre-Settled and Settled Status?
Pre-Settled Status is given to EU, EEA or Swiss citizens (or family members of) resident in the UK for less than five years at the time of their application, or by 30 June 2021. Pre-Settled Status is the same as Limited Leave to Remain (LTR). Once the individual has accrued five years of continuous residence in the UK (meaning they haven’t left the UK for longer than 6 months at one time or 12 months in certain circumstances such as study, medical reasons etc.) they will then need to apply for Settled Status if they wish to remain in the UK. There is no cost attached to making an application for Settled Status. Pre-Settled status is not lost if somebody is outside the UK for up to two years. However, any absence beyond six months (or 12 in certain circumstances) will break continuous residence meaning that the person will no longer be able to apply for Settled Status once their Pre-Settled Status has expired.
Unsure or need support? Email mailto:CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk
Settled Status is given to EU, EEA or Swiss citizens (or family members of) resident in the UK for 5 years by 30 June 2021. This is the same as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Once acquired the holder of Settled Status can leave the United Kingdom for up to five years without losing that status.
Unsure or need support? Email mailto:CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk
I am an EEA citizen, what public funds or services can I access?
- I arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020 and have not made an application to the EU settlement scheme
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020, will have the same access to public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance) as accessed before 31 December 2020 up until 30 June 2021.
To secure your right to live and work as well as maintain access to services beyond 30 June 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before this date to secure their immigration status and gain Pre-Settled or Settled Status.
- New arrivals to the UK on or after 1 January 2021
EEA nationals who arrived after 1 January 2021 to visit the UK will be subject to a No Recourse to Public Funds condition. This means visitors will be excluded from accessing public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance).
- EU, EEA and Swiss citizens with a work visa under the Points-Based Immigration System
All EEA citizens arriving in the UK to work under the new points-based immigration system (PBIS) will have No Recourse to Public Funds (meaning no access to benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance) in line with non-EEA migrants.
Unless the individual has Indefinite Leave to Remain, they will not have access to public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance)
iii. EUSS Family Permit
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who join family members (family relationship must have existed before 31 December 2020) will potentially have access public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance) and services (healthcare, education [school and college]) protected up until 30 June 2021.
We encourage individuals who enter the UK via the EUSS family permit, if they wish to remain in the UK as a resident, to make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled status within three months of their arrival as this will secure your legal status as a resident as well as the aforementioned access to public funds and services beyond 30 June 2021.
c. I have pre-settled status
A recent Court of Appeal decision in the case of ‘Fratila and Tanase’ has decided that EU nationals with Pre-Settled Status can access public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance).
The Department of Work and Pensions have appealed this decision (February 2021) and the case is now due to be heard in the Supreme Court. The case will be expedited, due to the importance of the issues. At present individuals with Pre-Settled status will for certain means tested benefits have to establish a ‘Right to Reside’. This is based on the now defunct EEA Regulations and is determined by whether or not the person was or is a worker, jobseeker, self-employed, self-sufficient or a student under the previous Regulations.
To access some services, you may be asked to evidence your Status; individuals should create a ‘share code’ which acts as digital proof of your immigration status. This shared code can be viewed by authorities (for example, DWP), shown at ports of entry or viewed by employers, proving an individual’s immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. To create this code online and need your passport/national ID card number, date of birth and mobile number or email address- all details must be the same as those used when you made your application to the EU Settlement Scheme for your status. https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status
Any questions? Please email mailto:CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk
- I have Pre-Settled Status and have been refused access to benefits, what should I do?
You should take the following steps:
- If you have failed the habitual residence test in a claim for means-tested benefits (including Universal Credit), you should apply for a ‘revision’ of the decision (mandatory reconsideration) if you have not done so already. If this mandatory reconsideration is refused, you should appeal against this decision.
- If you have been refused a mandatory reconsideration you should immediately appeal against the decision to the first-tier tribunal, relying on the Fratila Court of Appeal decision. These appeals may need to be stayed until the outcome of the Supreme Court decision.
For further assistance with applications, please contact the https://covadvice.org.uk/.
If you already have an appeal pending, then Coventry Law Centre can represent you at your appeal. Please contact the Welfare Benefits team. https://www.centralenglandlc.org.uk/pages/category/coventry
d. I have settled status
Individuals with Settled Status have Indefinite Leave to Remain and therefore can access public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance). Entitlements for individuals with Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settled Status also include access to healthcare, education, student finance and state pensions.
You may be asked to evidence your Settled Status; individuals should create a ‘share code’ which acts as digital proof of your immigration status. This share code can then be viewed by authorities (for example, DWP), shown at ports of entry or viewed by employers, proving an individual’s pre-settled immigration status. You create this code online and need your passport/national ID card number, date of birth and mobile number or email address- all details must be the same as those used when you made your application to the EU Settlement Scheme for Settled Status. https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status
If you have Settled Status and have been refused access to public funds or services, please contact the https://www.lawcentres.org.uk/about-law-centres/law-centres-on-google-maps/alphabetically/centre:Coventry%20Law%20Centre who can offer free advice and guidance.
e. I have submitted my EU Settlement Scheme application and have not yet received a decision
Individuals who have submitted their application to the EU Settlement Scheme have access to public funds (benefits, tax credits and housing or homelessness assistance) until they receive a decision.
To demonstrate that you have submitted an application to the EU Settlement Scheme and are awaiting a decision, you can show relevant authorities an email with your ‘certificate of application’ (you should have received this automatically when you submitted your application) or, your Unique Application Number generated via email upon submission of your application to the EU Settlement Scheme.
- How long till I receive a decision on my EU Settlement Scheme application?
Once you have submitted your application to the EU Settlement Scheme, a Home Office decision maker will review your application. Waiting times for a decision vary, some take a few days others may take months.
If you have been waiting longer than 6 months, since the date of submitting your application to the EU Settlement Scheme, please contact mailto:CoventryEUSS@coventry.gov.uk for free support, advice and guidance. Coventry Law Centre, with your permission, may be able to check your application to see if there is an outstanding query or request for further documentation or, in some cases, liaise with the Home Office on your behalf to resolve any issues.
f. EEA Nationals and Use of NHS
Use of the NHS is based on having ‘ordinary residence’ in the UK. If you have Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status you will be able to continue to use the NHS normally.
Individuals who were lawfully resident in the UK as of 31 December 2020 who have not yet registered under the EUSS will be able to continue to use the EUSS normally until 30 June 2021, during the ‘grace period’. Beyond 30 June 2021, proof of status under the EUSS may be required to continue to access the NHS. This is another important reason to ensure that all those eligible to register under the EUSS do so.
If you do not apply by 30 June 2021, you could lose your right to access free healthcare. If your application under the EUSS is still pending you will still be able to access free healthcare.
- Irish citizens (who do not have to apply under the EUSS) living in the UK will continue to access healthcare in the UK on the same terms as a UK resident
- Students who began their courses before 31 December 2020 can still use their EHIC card to access the NHS but must apply to the EUSS by 30 June 2021 if their course extends beyond that date
- Those moving to the UK beyond 1 January 2021 (unless they are eligible for an EUSS Family Permit) will be ‘subject to immigration control’. This means that they will have to pay the relevant Immigration Health Surcharge (HIS) for the appropriate visa. Those that are coming to the UK as a visitor will not be charged but will need to have appropriate health insurance although all individuals are eligible to access emergency treatment.
For further information see:
How do I prove my Pre-Settled or Settled Status to authorities, employers and landlords?
a. Proving your immigration status: creating your ‘Share Code’
To evidence your immigration status, individuals should create a ‘shared code’ which acts as digital proof of this. To create this shared code, you will need the same details you used when making your application to the EU Settlement Scheme. These three things include:
- Your passport/national ID card number, used when making your application
- Your Date of Birth
- Your mobile number or email address, used when making your application
Please note that proof of your status is ‘digital’, there will be no physical document issued such as a visa in a passport.
From 1 January 2021 up until 30 June 2021, authorities, employers and landlords in the UK cannot force EU, EEA or Swiss nationals to prove their immigration status (Pre-Settled or Settled Status). You can however demonstrate this using your share code, if you wish to do so.
From 30 June 2021, it is a legal requirement for authorities, employers and landlords in the UK to check whether EU, EEA or Swiss nationals have to right to stay, work or rent in the UK. Beyond this date, if an EEA national refuses to demonstrate their immigration status they may be refused entry to the UK, access to public funds, their offer of employment may be withdrawn or right to rent refused.
How can I prove my legal status to relevant authorities, my right to work or right to rent in the UK?
Authorities (DWP, ports of entry, educational providers such as Adult Education etc.): https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status.