UK Immigration News Alert – 2 February 2021

EU Settlement Scheme

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their families who have been living in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 must apply to the Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 in order to continue living in the UK after that date. The rights and status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK before 31 December 2020 will remain the same as they were prior to the UK leaving the EU until 30 June 2021.

When you apply you will be granted one of the following:

· Settled status – if you can evidence you have been living continuously in the UK for 5 years or more

· Pre-settled status – if you have been living in the UK for less than 5 years

You do not need to apply if you have British or Irish citizenship or hold Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter. There is no UKVI fee to apply to the Scheme.

Your rights with settled or pre-settled status

You’ll be able to:

· work in the UK

· use the NHS for free, if you can at the moment

· enrol in education or study in the UK

· access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them

· travel in and out of the UK

Time outside the UK

If you have settled status, you can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status.

If you’re a Swiss citizen, you and your family members can spend up to 4 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status.

If you have pre-settled status, you can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status. You will need to maintain your continuous residence if you want to qualify for settled status after 5 years.

Family members

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national your close family members can join you provided all of the following apply:

· you were living in the UK by 31 December 2020

· your relationship with them began before 31 December 2020 (unless they’re a child born or adopted after that date)

· the relationship still exists when they apply to join you

If your family member is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, they can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK if they hold either a valid passport or identity card with a biometric chip.

If your family member is not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, they can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK. Provided they one of the following:

· Residence card

· Permanent residence card

· Derivative residence card

If the above do not apply they will need to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit to come to the UK and then once they are in the UK they can apply to the Settlement Scheme.

It’s important to note that if your family member joins you on or after 1 April 2021 they must apply to the Settlement Scheme within 3 months of arriving in the UK. For example, if they arrive on 15 June 2021, they must apply by 15 September 2021.

Right to Work Documents

Up until 30 June 2021 you can continue to provide your EU, EEA or Swiss passport or national ID card as evidence of your right to work in the UK. After this date you will need to show proof of holding settled or pre-settled status.

Once you hold settled or pre-settled status you can show evidence of this to your employer online using the link below:

Check your status

For any EU nationals arriving in the UK after 1 January 2021 the new immigration system now applies and they will therefore need to obtain a Visa prior to arriving if they wish to work.

For example, an EU citizen who wishes to now relocate to the UK to work will require a Skilled Worker Visa and will therefore need to meet all the requirements, including having a job offer from an approved UK employer who holds a valid Sponsor Licence. They will need to present a valid Travel Vignette or BRP Card as part of their right to work evidence.

Please contact your GDB Legal Solutions consultant for detailed guidance on conducting compliant right to work checks on any employees.

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