EU Settlement Scheme – the deadline has now passed
Wednesday, 30 June 2021, was the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020.
More than six million applications were made to the EU Settlement Scheme before the 30 June deadline, marking an astonishing success in protecting the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK.
From Thursday 1 July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members are now required to obtain a valid UK immigration status to be in the UK, either through the EUSS, if they were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 or are a joining family member, or through a valid visa.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can expect to be asked to show their digital status to prove their right to work or their right to rent to landlords in England. Other departments, such as HMRC, DWP and the NHS, will have automatic access to their status to check a person’s eligibility for free healthcare, benefits and access to public funds.
Anyone who made an application by the 30 June 2021 deadline will have their existing rights protected, pending the outcome of their application. Applicants are issued with a Certificate of Application, which can be relied on to evidence their rights.
Their Certificate of Application will be available in their view and prove account or will be sent to them by post. Landlords and employers can also use the Home Office view and prove service to confirm protected rights for an individual.
The Home Office will contact any applicant where we need further information to progress their application.
How to access and update digital status
You can view your EUSS status online, via the view and prove your immigration status service.
Please refer to the following guide for further information about using your digital status: ‘Your immigration status: an introduction for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens’.
Switching from pre-settled status to settled-status
If you hold pre-settled status, you can apply to switch to settled status as soon as you’re eligible. This is usually after you’ve lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for 5 years in a row (known as ‘continuous residence’).
You do not need to have held pre-settled status for 5 years before you can apply to switch to settled status. If you have spent more than 6 months outside the UK in a 12-month period, you may not be eligible for settled status.
To switch, you must apply to the EUSS again before your pre-settled status expires. For further information, please refer to the guidance available on GOV.UK.
Joining family members
Family members of any nationality of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, can apply at any time, where the family relationship was formed by that date (except where a child was born or adopted after it) and continues to exist. They may be able to apply to the EUSS from outside the UK or they may need to apply for an EUSS family permit to come to the UK and then apply to the EUSS once here.
Applying for children
EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 must apply to the EUSS for their children who are not British citizens. For further information please refer to the guidance available on GOV.UK.
If they are expecting to have a child (or have given birth since 1 April 2021), then the child will also need to have an application made on their behalf to the EUSS within 3 months of their date of birth. However, if either of the child’s parents had settled status under the EUSS (or another form of indefinite leave to enter or remain) before the child was born, then they don’t need to make an application on their behalf, as the child will be a British citizen.
Before you travel - crossing the UK border after 30 June 2021
Individuals with pre-settled or settled status under the EUSS should ensure that they update their online account with all valid travel documents (such as passports or national identity cards) that they hold and intend to use for travel, to avoid any unnecessary delays at the border. They can do this online by using the view and prove service, which enables individuals with digital status to keep their travel documents updated.
Applications made after 30 June 2021 deadline
In line with the Citizens’ Rights Agreements, there remains scope for a person eligible for status under the EUSS to make a late application to the scheme where there are reasonable grounds for their having missed the deadline.
Where a person did not apply before the deadline, they must make a valid application online or on the relevant paper application form – and provide information with the application setting out their grounds for applying late.
The Home Office will continue to look to grant status, rather than for reasons to refuse. A flexible and pragmatic approach will be taken in considering whether there are reasonable grounds for the person’s failure to apply by the deadline.
If someone without status is encountered who may be eligible for it, they will be provided with a written notice giving them an opportunity to apply to the scheme, setting out their reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, normally within 28 days, and signposted to the support available.