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EU Settlement Scheme – Important Clarification from the Home Office

PUBLISHED: 7 March 2019
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With the UK’s scheduled exit from the EEA mere three weeks away, the Home Office have just released further clarification of the rules under their proposed EU Settlement Scheme post ‘Brexit’. We have summarised the clarification on the rules below:

  • Citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and their family members, will be able to apply under the Settlement Scheme;
  • Residence in the Crown Dependencies (Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man or Channel Islands) will be counted as UK residence for the purposes of the scheme;
  • Non-EU citizens with “derivative” rights of residence in the UK will be able to apply for settled status, at present they do not have this right. Their applications will have to be made on a paper application form;
  • The date by which EEA nationals must have been continuously resident in the UK, and certain family relationships will need to have been formed, will be 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves with a deal, or 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves without a deal;
  • EEA and Swiss citizens previously resident in the UK who have been working for the UK government or armed forces abroad (“Crown service”) can count this towards their residency for settled status under the scheme;
  • Administrative reviews can now be made from outside the UK;
  • Some of the general grounds for refusal found at part 9 of the Immigration Rules will apply to applications under the EU Settlement Scheme if the UK leaves without a deal.

Changes relating to family members

Non-EEA citizens will be able to apply for an “EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit” to join or accompany an EEA citizen who was been granted leave under the settlement scheme. Those Family Permits will be valid for six months.

The scheme will be open to the family members of British citizens who were exercising their free movement rights under EU law before returning to the UK (‘Surinder Singh’ cases) and to the family members of certain dual British/EU citizens.

Extended family members will have rights of appeal.

Applications and documents

There will be no application fee under the scheme. It will be possible to apply under the scheme from outside the UK.

Almost everyone must go digital, unless a paper application is “approved on an individual basis in light of the exceptional circumstances of the case”. It will be possible to submit national ID cards as identity documents for EEA nationals, and biometric residence cards for non-EEA family members.

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