Submitted by Catherine Dhanjal
| on Fri, 06/04/2021 - 15:26 | In EU
As from last year, the UK is no longer an EU member state. So what does this mean for EU nationals? We last wrote a blog post about this at the beginning of 2019 and explored the impact this would have on the right to stay for around 3.6 million EEA citizens. Things have evolved since the UK left the EU, so we felt this was a good time to revisit the topic.
Applying to the EU Settlement Scheme
The current situation is that any EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and their families can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK for EU Settled status by 30 June 2021 if they resided in the UK continuously for five years before 31/12/20, even if they no longer reside in the UK. The application is free and if you’re successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status.
Once acquired, settled status lasts for five years. It can be renewed by coming to the UK for at least one day during the five-year period, for example for a holiday.
You may be able to stay in the UK without applying – for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or already have indefinite leave to remain.
Settled status is precious because it allows EU nationals to settle or spend any period of time in the UK without a visa after Brexit (1/1/21), should they wish to do so at some point in the future. This benefit is extended to their minor children too.
EU nationals without settled status wishing to settle in the UK after the 1st of January 2021 need to apply for a UK visa and should consult a qualified lawyer
If you have permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain
The process of applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is different if you have a permanent residence document or indefinite leave to enter or remain.
To continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 you must either:
- Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme – you will not have to prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence
- Apply for citizenship before 30 June 2021
Indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK
You can continue to live in the UK without applying to the EU Settlement Scheme if you have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. However, if you choose to apply (and meet all the other conditions), you’ll get ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’ – also known as settled status.
In practice, this means you should be able to spend up to five years outside the UK without losing your settled status (instead of two years with the indefinite leave to enter or remain you have now).
You can find out more from the UK Government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
If you’re not a UK citizen but are living in the UK and would like to discuss the tax implications of these developments, call us on 01761 241 861 or email us today. We will be pleased to arrange an online consultation or telephone call.
Please note if you have immigration or visa questions you would need to consult a suitably qualified lawyer.