The Home Office has just announced the process in which EU citizens who are living in the UK and have arrived before 31 December 2020 can apply for settled status once Britain leaves the EU, and it’s easier and cheaper than you might think.
There will be a completely new system, with better support for applicants put in place to deal with the expected workload. This will make the transition as quick and simple as possible for everyone involved. I will explain below how the application process will work and what it requires of applicants.
UK immigration minister, Caroline Nokes confirmed that if you are looking to apply for settled status, the application is just 3 key steps to confirm your right to live and work in the UK.
1. Prove your identity,
2. Show that you live in the UK and,
3. Declare that you have no serious criminal convictions.
The Home Office will also check the employment and benefit records held by the government so for many people, proof of residence will be automatic. This means that workers may find it easier to apply as the Home Office will have access to more data on them, but as long as you have evidence that you live in the UK then this process will still be quite straightforward.
It will be an online application that will be accessible through phones, tablets, laptops and computers which we will be able to assist you with.
What is the Cost?
The thing that most people are concerned about when it comes to application processes like this is the cost. Luckily, the price for EU citizens applying for settled status is £65 (£32.50 for a child under 16), no more than the cost of a British passport.
Moreover, those who already have a valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain will be able to exchange it for settled status for free.
When to Apply
The settlement scheme opens in a phased way later this year but will be fully open by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021. This limited window for applications means it is best to start the process as soon as you can to avoid time pressures as failing to apply will mean that you will end up with no legal right to live and work in the UK.
If you have arrived in the UK by 31 December 2020 but have not been living in the UK for 5 years then you will be granted ‘pre-settled status.’ This will allow you to stay in the UK for a further 5 years with the same freedom to live and work and have access to public funds that you currently have.
Once you have lived in the UK for 5 years you can then apply for settled status which will have no time restrictions on your stay in the UK.
Applications for Children
The good news is that if you are eligible to apply for settled status, then any children you have aged under 21 will also be eligible to apply even if they arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020. If they are already a British citizen then it won’t be necessary for them to apply under the settlement scheme, they already have rights to stay in the UK.
How We Can Help
Our expert immigration team can help explain your application and to make sure you have all the documents necessary for your application in order to best guarantee success.
For more information or immigration help, please contact us at:
T. 028 9002 2371