The deadline for the European Union Settlement Scheme is just around the corner – eight days away from today! Make sure to apply by the 30th of June 2021 to avoid complications and the potentially hostile environment that you may face for not having an immigration status in the UK.
What is the European Settlement Scheme for?
The United Kingdom officially left the European Union on the 31st of January 2020, ending freedom of movement between the United Kingdom and the European Union. The European Union Settlement Scheme was introduced on the 30th of March 2019 with a deadline to apply by the 30th of June 2021.
The Scheme is for European citizens, European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, Swiss nationals, and their specific family members (both European and non-European citizens) who arrived in the UK before the 31st of December 2020.
The European Union Settlement Scheme can grant applicants one of two rights: ‘settled status’ or ‘pre-settled status’.
- Settled status is granted to applicants who can demonstrate that they have been living in the UK for five years with a continuous residence. This means that they must have been residing in the UK for at least six months (180 days) in every twelve-month period.
- Pre-settled status is granted to applicants who have been living in the UK for less than five years.
Settled status and pre-settled status both grant the applicant the right to continue living and working in the UK.
Why should I apply now?
The foremost important reason to apply to the European Union Settlement Scheme is to retain your right to reside in the United Kingdom post 30th of June 2021. Those who have not applied by the 30th of June 2021 may lose their right to stay in the UK, meaning that they could be classed as illegal immigrants and as such could face deportation.
They could lose their right to be employed, claim benefits, rent from a private landlord, or access free NHS healthcare in the UK.
Please note that all family members need to have their own individual applications, including children! Parents cannot just make applications for themselves; they need to apply on behalf of their children too.
What if I apply after the deadline?
It may still be possible to apply after the 30th of June 2021, but the process will not be as easy or straightforward – the Home Office will expect to see a good reason for the late application and for the late application to be made within a reasonable period. This situation is undoubtedly unprecedented, and we therefore urge you to make your application in good time, before the deadline. It is by no means guaranteed that the late application process will be a smooth one.
Author: Ayşe Karaca
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