On 21st June 2018 the UK Home Office published their EU Settlement Scheme Statement of Intent and draft Immigration Rules which set out further details about how EU citizens and their families can obtain settled status in the UK and continue living here permanently.
The statement of intent document is 60 pages long, so for those of you who don't have time to read through it, here are the main points:
From 1st July 2021, EU citizens and their family members in the UK must hold or have applied for UK immigration status to be in the UK legally.
EU citizens and their family members who, by 31st December 2020, have been continuously resident in the UK for 5 years will be eligible for "settled status", enabling them to stay indefinitely.
EU citizens and their family members who arrive by 31st December 2020, but will not have been continuously resident here for 5 years, will be eligible for "pre-settled status", enabling them to stay until they have reached the 5 year threshold.
EU citizens and their family members with settled or pre-settled status will have the same access as they currently do to healthcare, pensions and other benefits.
The agreement with the EU does not cover the citizens of non-EU European Economic Area states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland. The Government says it wants to secure a similar deal for citizens of these states living in the UK and for UK nationals living there.
The EU Settlement Scheme will be delivered through a streamlined digital application process which will be implemented from late 2018. The scheme will be open fully by 30th March 2019.
There will be 3 core criteria which applicants will need to meet: proving their identity, evidencing their residence in the UK and checking they are not a serious criminal.
The UK has decided that the main requirement for eligibility under the settlement scheme will be continuous residence in the UK.
The implementation period (or transition period) will run from 30th March 2019 to 31st December 2020.
EU citizens and their family members do not need to do anything immediately. There will be no change to their current rights until the end of the implementation period on 31st December 2020.
The deadline for applications to the scheme for those resident here by the end of 2020 will be 30th June 2021.
Applications will cost £65 and be half that cost (£32.50) for children under 16.
At the end of the implementation period on 31st December 2020, nobody knows what the immigration system will look like.
Please note that this advice from the Government may be subject to change.
If you would like to speak to somebody about UK immigration, please contact us at +44 (0)121 222 4144 or complete our contact form and one of our team will come back to you.
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Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.