As Brexit looms ahead, many aspects of the situation remain unresolved, making it hard to predict what the future looks like. One particularly pressing issue has been the rights of UK nationals in Europe and EU nationals in the UK, the latter of which amounts to over 3 million people. We understand many of our Syfters are EU nationals, so we’ve decided to post this blog to help you navigate the information related your rights.
If you’re from the EU and based in the UK, you may be curious and even concerned about how you’ll be affected, including the rights you’ll have, whether you can stay and how to guarantee your residency. According to the government, EU citizens will now need to apply to a settlement scheme if you wish to remain in the UK as a living and working citizen. It will also protect the rights you currently have, such as access to healthcare, benefits and the pension scheme.
The application process is currently open and has a deadline of 30th June 2021, or 31st December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Don’t leave it until the last minute; we suggest you continue reading, prepare your application soon and have peace of mind.
Are you eligible?
For EU citizens who wish to stay in the UK in the long-term, it is essential to apply for settled status. According to a guide published by the Home Office, you do not need to apply to the scheme if you are:
- A British citizen
- An Irish citizen
- Born in the UK with at least one parent with British citizenship
- Entitled to permanent residency in the UK
If you’re eligible to apply for the settlement scheme, successful applicants will be given either:
- Settled status
- Pre-settled status
Each status depends on how long the applicant has been living in the UK, with different rights on being a short-term or long-term citizen.
A settled status will usually apply to those who have been living in the UK for at least five years; during which time they have spent at least six months of each year in the UK. Those who apply for settled status will only need to apply on a single basis, providing they have had no criminal convictions.
Pre-settled status refers to people who have been living in the UK for up to five years, but after applying, will be permitted to remain in the country until that time has come to an end. After this time, they will then need to apply for settled status for long-term residency.
How to apply?
Applications can be made quickly and easily online or via an app to reduce the large amounts of paperwork. Note that the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app is only available on Android devices at the moment.
Applicants will need to have:
- A valid ID (such as a passport or national identity card)
- Current residency in the UK
What’s the cost?
Don’t worry, it’s free! The previous cost was £65 for adults and £32.50 for children, but the government has scrapped these fees earlier in the year, helping to ease you through the process.
How long does it take?
Ministers have stated applicants should hear back in no more than two weeks after submission, however, there is a debate as to whether this swift turnaround time is realistic due to the sheer volume of applications. We suggest you to apply as early as possible.
What happens if my application gets rejected?
Each case will be independently assessed, however, those with repeated or serious criminal convictions are likely to be instantly rejected. The government has claimed that for those who believe they have been rejected unlawfully, there is a 28-day period after the date of the decision to appeal their case.
Where can I find more information?
The scheme may be liable to change as the situation develops. We suggest you bookmark the official guide and stay tuned with any new updates. If you need help as it stands, we recommend you visit the ‘Get help’ section of the government’s site.