• Sarah Tempest

EU Citizens Must Apply for Settled Status to Protect Your Housing Rights

Updated: Apr 29




EU/EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK must apply for a new immigration status to continue to live and work in the UK and to access healthcare and social security benefits for which they are eligible. This new status is called Settled Status and the scheme to implement this is called the EU Settlement Scheme.


The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021, but we strongly recommend you apply now. It will become increasingly difficult to proof your right to housing, a job, healthcare or benefits without pre-Settled or Settled Status.


If your family includes nationals from outside the EU, they must apply too if they are:


- Your spouse, civil partner or durable partner;

- Your children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren (under 21 years old);

- Your dependent children over the age of 21;

- Your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents.

We want you to retain your residence rights, so if you have not yet applied, we urge you to do so. Be a good neighbour and check if members of your community have applied for Settled Status.


We want our communities to support each other to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, so if you know of someone who is an EU citizen who needs support, or has language difficulties, could you help them to apply? It is free, but you must do it. EU citizens and their family members, including children, must apply. Help your friends and neighbours remain in the UK.




Support to Apply is Available


There are services available to help you to apply. You may find it difficult if there are language barriers, so make sure you access the help that is available.

Citizen's Advice Bureau

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/immigration/applying-for-settled-status/

UK Government

https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

Charity Providing Support

https://settled.org.uk/en/

Gloucestershire County Council

https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/eu-settlement-scheme/

Worcester City Council (can help for Worcestershire more widely too)

https://www.worcester.gov.uk/news/support-to-apply-for-eu-settlement-scheme-as-deadline-looms

Polish Organisation based in Evesham

https://www.facebook.com/yellowscarf.org

Polish Association Gloucestershire

https://www.facebook.com/polishglos/

Cheltenham Polish Tenants and Residents Association

http://www.cheltpolishtara.org.uk/

Community Group based In Worcestershire to assist migrants

https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Community/European-Connections-Forum-386301648644544/




Settled vs. Pre-Settled Status – What is the difference?


People who have lived in the UK for at least five years are eligible for Settled Status, which entitles them to live permanently in the UK and later apply for UK citizenship. People living in the UK for less than five years are eligible for Pre-Settled Status and can apply for Settled Status once they have reached five years of residence. Children under 21 are eligible for settled status if one of their parents has been granted Settled Status, even if they do not have five years’ residence. If you are an EU citizen you may be able to apply for Settled Status with less than five years’ residence in certain circumstances.


Under What Circumstances can one obtain Settled Status in less than five years?


If you stop working or start to work in an EU country you and your family can get settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence in certain situations;

If you reach the State Pension age or retired early;

If you start working in an EEA country and you have lived in the UK for three years beforehand and have returned to the UK once a week.


What are the Deadlines and Timing?


The Settlement Scheme opened on 29th March 2019. Anyone who has established residence in the UK by the end of December 2020 is eligible to apply. The UK Withdrawal Agreement includes a six month grace period for applications which means that the final deadline to make an application is the end of June 2021.


What Happens if I Miss the Deadline?


People who miss the deadline will be able to apply later if they have “good reason” but it is not clear how these are defined. It is not worth the risk of missing the deadline, so please do it now so that you can retain your rights.


What is the Deadline if I have non-EU family members living Overseas?


If you have a non-EU family member who is currently overseas, the deadline for them to apply to join you in the UK is 30th June 2021, so long as you can prove they were your ‘close family member’ before the 31st December 2020. The deadline is 31st December 2025 if you are a Swiss national and you get married or form a civil partnership with a non-EU national after 31st December 2020.


Can I make an Application under the EUSS if I have a Criminal Conviction in the UK or abroad?


Having a criminal conviction is not a bar to making an application. All applications are subject to checks against the Police National Computer and in some cases the Home Office will also carry out overseas Criminal Record checks. According to the Home Office guidance, there is no need to declare spent convictions, cautions or alternatives to prosecution. If you do have criminal convictions, the EUSS application will not necessarily be refused. It depends on the facts of the case.


Do I have a right of Appeal against a refusal of an application under the EU Settlement Scheme?


Applications that have been submitted under this scheme after 11 pm on 31st January 2020 attract a right of appeal, where they are refused or where one is granted pre-settled status and believe they qualify for settled status. Alternatively, one can apply for Administrative Review if it is believed that the decision-maker made an error or did not follow the published guidance. An alternative would be to submit a fresh application before 30th June 2021, depending on the circumstances of the case.


What is an Administrative Review and what is an Appeal?


An Administrative Review is a request to the Home Office to reconsider a refusal decision on the grounds that the refusal is not in accordance with the relevant facts and laws. An Appeal is lodged with the First Tier Tribunal and will be heard by an independent Judge.


What is Appendix EU?


Appendix EU sets out the basis on which EA citizens and their family members and the family members of a qualifying British citizen can apply to remain in the UK and be granted Indefinite Leave to enter or remain or limited leave to enter or remain.


What is meant by “continuous resident”?


This means not having left the UK for more than six months at a time (unless there is a single period of absence not exceeding 12 months and there was an important reason, pregnancy, child birth, serious illness, study of vocational training or compulsory military service for any period. In order to make the application you will need:


Who are the family members under the EU Settlement Scheme?


Spouse, civil partner, under 21 child, parent or grandparent

Extended family, durable partners and dependent relatives

If the relationship formed before 31st December 2020 and family members can join from abroad in the future after that date. If formed after the normal family visa rules apply.


How to evidence residence?


The Home Office uses an applicant’s National Insurance Number to check HMRC records. In theory if the applicant has been paying NI Contributions (NIC) they will not need to p