Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme
Whilst the political debates continue over Brexit, including whether we should have a second vote, a reminder that currently from an employment and immigration perspective, the current position remains as stated by the Home Office in its statement made on 21 June 2018 concerning the post Brexit scheme for EU nationals resident in the UK.
Although the scheme is still subject to approval by Parliament, the statement still gives a good indication of what the future plans are.
Settled status and pre-settled status
EU citizens who have been living in the UK for five years and have been exercising Treaty Rights will be eligible to apply for settled status. Those who cannot demonstrate five years of residence will be eligible for a pre-settled status. EU citizens who already hold permanent resident status documents will also need to apply for settled status.
Applicants will need to meet 3 core criteria:
- Identity – Applicants will need to verify their identity and nationality;
- Eligibility – Applicants will need to establish their residence in the UK and, if appropriate, a family member of an eligible EU national.
- Suitability – This will involve conducting checks against UK criminality and security databases and conduct overseas criminal records checks.
A new online application form which the Home Office states will be simple and user friendly is being designed. It will be accessible by computer, tablet or smartphone using internet browsers.
The application process will be designed to assist applicants to establish their continuous residence by using data held by HM Revenue & Customs and in due course the Department for Work and Pension. Where there is no government held data, applicants will be able to upload additional evidence to fill gaps in residence that cannot be shown using government data.
The process for those who already hold permanent resident cards will be even more streamlined and straightforward.
The scheme is expected to be implemented at the beginning of 2019 and fully open by 30 March 2019. Applicants will need to submit their application for settled or pre-settled status by 30 June 2021.
The key date for showing residence of five years for settled status applicants and arrival in the UK for pre-settled status applicants, is 31 December 2020.
The application will cost £65 for adults and £32 for children under 16. For those who already hold permanent resident cards, the service will be free of charge.
Toolkits for employers
The Home Office has published toolkits intended to equip employers with the right information to support their EU national workforce. The Tool Kit can be found by following this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-employer-toolkit
Article by Tsige Berhanu
Immigration consultant with JMA HR & Legal Ltd
If you have any immigration enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us:
T: +44 (0)1252 821792
This article is accurate as at 4 September 2018 and is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances.