Leaving the EU – Settled Status – A Gentle Reminder
As we all await with bated breath the outcome of the general Election on 12th December 2019 and then to see whether we will or will not leave the EU, those EU nationals currently in the UK need to be looking at whether they wish to apply for Settled Status in the UK.
If your employee is an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, they and their family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30th June 2021. If the application is successful, they will get either settled or pre-settled status.
What does Settled Status mean?
Getting settled status means they can continue to live and work in the UK for as long as they like and mean they are eligible for:
public services, such as healthcare and schools
public funds and pensions
British Citizenship, if they meet the requirements
To be eligible for settled status, your employee will need to:
be an EU citizen, or a family member of an EU citizen
have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years (‘continuous residence’)
have started living in the UK by 31st December 2020
If they have lived in the UK for less than 5 years, they will generally be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’ instead. If they are a non-EU citizen, they will need to show their relationship to an EU citizen living here.
Continuous residence means being in the UK for at least 6 months in each of those 5 years, except for:
one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, to work or study)
compulsory military service
If they do not have this then they are likely to get ‘pre-settled status’ instead which means they can stay in the UK for a further 5 years and can live and work here and will have access to public funds and services on the same basis as they do now. Once they have 5 years’ continuous residence they can apply for settled status.
If your employees have children they will have to apply for settled status on their behalf (unless they are a British citizen). If your employee is eligible to apply, any children under 21 will also be eligible even if they arrive in the UK after 31st December 2020.
Your employees will have to prove their identity and residence in the UK and anyone, over the age of 18, will be asked about their criminal history. Though this will not necessarily stop them getting settled status, with each case being judged in its own right.
There are other issues involved such as where family members continue to live overseas, or where a family member is from outside of the EU.
So, in a nutshell, those who wish to remain in the UK need to be thinking about the process now.
Deadline for Applying
The deadline for applying will be 30th June 2021.
All the details are available on the GOV.UK web site: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
Did you know however that there’s an app for that? There is! You can find details of it on the Gov.UK web site too, here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-eu-exit-id-document-check-app
So, if your EU employees have still not applied for settled status remind them of the need to do so and point out this funky alternative way of doing so.