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Securing settled status after Brexit – our 10 top tips


The Home Office has announced details of the process to be followed by EEA nationals (and their family members) to remain living in the UK after Brexit.  Full details of the announcement are available here: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families and there are many guidance documents also available online – https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status – but you can read our 10 top tips below.

  1. The scheme will open fully by March 2019. The deadline to apply is 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.  The application form will be online.
  2. There will be no fee payable for any applicants under the scheme.  Those who previously applied when fees were payable are eligible for a refund.
  3. The outcome of the application will be confirmed online for EEA nationals, or in a physical document for applicants from outside the EEA who do not already have a residence document.
  4. Requirements are straightforward:
    • Be an EU citizen/the family member of one;
    • Have lived in the UK continuously for 5 years;
    • You started living in the UK by 31 December 2020; and
    • From 1 May 2019, those with derivative rights of residence (e.g. carers of British children) will be able to apply.
  5. If you can’t satisfy the second requirement by 31 December 2020, you can apply for ‘pre-settled status’ instead. This will be valid for a further 5 years, giving time to work towards settled status.
  6. Continuous residence will be calculated a little more flexibly than previously expected. For example, continuous residence is not considered broken where:
    • You have been in the UK for at least 6 months in each of the 5 years upon which you rely;
    • You have been absent from the UK for one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (eg work or study); or
    • You have been absent from the UK due to compulsory military service.
  7. When applying, you’ll need proof of 3 things:
    • Your identity;
    • Your UK residence over the 5-year period (unless you have a valid document confirming this already – eg a permanent residence card); and
    • Your relationship with your EEA family member, if this is applicable to your application.
  8. The application process is intended to be streamlined, with the opportunity to upload some documents online, and to give the Home Office permission to confirm details about your residence and UK work history.
  9. Applications should be made for children to confirm their settled status. Any child born in the UK after settled status is confirmed for a parent will be a British citizen.
  10. There is scope for family members to join their EEA sponsors in the UK after 31 December 2020, but only in limited circumstances (eg the relationship needs to have existed pre-December 2020).

If you would like to speak to an immigration lawyer about your UK residence, call Latitude Law on 0161 234 6800 (Manchester and London) or 0151 305 9600 (Liverpool).