The Home Office has provided information on how EU citizens and their families living in the UK can secure their long-term status here with the same entitlements to work, study and access public services as now.
EU citizens and family members who, by 31st December 2020, have been continuously resident in the UK for five years will be eligible to apply under the scheme and will be granted “settled status” which will allow them to stay in the UK indefinitely.
EU citizens and family members who arrive by 31st December 2020 but will not yet have been continuously resident here for five years will be granted “pre-settled status” under the Scheme which will enable them to stay in the UK until they have reached the five-year threshold. At that point they can apply for settled status.
“Continuously resident” in the UK generally means that the person must not have been absent from the UK for more than six months in total in any 12-month period. There is no restriction on the number of absences permitted, provided that the total period of absence does not exceed six months in any 12-month period.
Close family members (a spouse, civil partner, durable partner, dependant child or grandchild, and dependant parent or grandparent) living overseas will still be able to join an EU citizen resident here after 31st December 2020 where the relationship existed at that date and continues to exist.
Registration will involve an online digital application which will require the applicant:
- to prove their identity and nationality (which can generally be done through their passport or EU ID card)
- to provide evidence that they have been continuously resident in the UK for the five years required for settled status. This may involve an automated check through HMRC data or the applicant will be able to upload documents to prove their residency – more details of what documents will be acceptable will be published by the Government later.
The applicant will also need to provide a facial image which will be checked to see that it matches the photograph on the passport or ID card and to declare any serious criminal convictions.
The application process is not open yet but is expected to open later in the year. The application fee under the Scheme will be £65 for an adult and £32.50 for a child although if an EU citizen already holds permanent residence there will be no fee.
Further information will be provided in due course but trainers may wish to ensure that any of the employees to whom this may apply are aware of the procedures and that if they are wishing to apply for settled status do not absent themselves from the country for more than 6 months in any 12 month period.