The recently published Statement of Intent has unveiled the Government’s new Settlement Scheme for EU citizens post-Brexit.
The UK is due to leave the EU on 29th March 2019. An implementation period is due to run from the leaving date to December 2020. There will therefore be no change to the current rights of EU citizens until 1st January 2021 and they will be able to continue to live and work in the UK without the need for a visa.
EU citizens who are living in the UK by 31st December 2020 will have until the deadline on 30th June 2021 to make an application for status under the scheme. From 1st July 2021, EU citizens and their family members in the UK must hold or have applied for UK immigration status to be here legally. There will be no requirement for Irish citizens to apply.
The Settlement Scheme introduces two types of status, settled status and pre-settled status. Settlement status replaces the current permanent residence status and those who have lived in the country for 5 years will be granted settled status. Pre-settled will be granted to those who have lived in the country for less than five years and will allow the individual to remain in the UK until they meet the required five years, after which settled status can be applied for.
Obtaining status under the Settlement Scheme will be enable individuals to continue to live and work in the UK and access public services and public funds.
Close family members including spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependent child or grandchild or dependent parent or grandparent living in the UK or overseas will be eligible for status under the scheme.