Information for EU/EEA Citizens:

 

We have many European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens living and working across Bristol North West, including hundreds of NHS workers at Southmead Hospital.

To support those citizens, Darren has pulled together this information:

 

Background

Eligible EU nationals, EEA citizens, and some family members can now apply for ‘Settled Status’ or ‘Pre-Settled Status’ to ensure their right to stay in the UK after Brexit.

 

Settled status or Pre-settled Status mean the right to stay, work, access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them, and receive education and healthcare rights in the UK. Family members includes spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, direct descendants and dependent parents or grandparents of the EU citizen and her/his partner. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren need to be under 21 to be eligible and only dependent children over 21 are eligible – see GOV.UK ‘Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families’.

 

Who is eligible for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status?

EU or EEA citizens (or an eligible family member of one) who have lived in the UK are eligible. You must not have a ‘significant’ criminal record.

 

For Settled Status, as distinct from Pre-Settled Status, you must also have lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period. This is taken to mean that for 5 years in a row you’ve been in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month period, except for one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, according to Gov.UK, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting) and compulsory military service of any length. Note that this does not have to be the last five years, but that this status may have lapsed if you have been absent for two or more years.

 

Under the Withdrawal Agreement, only relationships which have started before 31 December 2020 and continue to exist at the time of their application to join you will count. However, this would change in the case of no deal (see below).

 

 

What’s the difference between Settled Status and Pre-Settled Status?

Settled Status means you can apply for British Citizenship, if you’re eligible. There are also differences in terms of how long you can spend outside the UK without losing the statuses:

 

Pre-Settled Status: You can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing your pre-settled status.

 

Settled Status: The UK Gov.uk website states that you should be able to spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your Settled Status. On the other hand, it ultimately concludes that how long you can live outside the UK is still subject to approval by Parliament.

 

Can I convert Pre-Settled Status into Settled Status?

Yes – time built up living in the UK using pre-settled status will be able to be used for the purposes of building up continuous residence for Settled Status.

 

How can I access this service?

Applications can be made through a portal set-up on the Gov.uk website. Applications are managed by the Home Office.

 

The Government website and portal are here: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

 

What evidence do I need to provider?

You will need to show that you have been resident in the UK for five years, or less, depending on which status you are applying for. Residence will be automatically checked by the Home Office on provision of a National Insurance number. If the applicant then needs to provide further evidence then further documents may be provided.

 

You will need to show that you are an EU/EEA citizen or an eligible family member. This can be proved with your birth certificate, passport or ID documentation.

 

And you will need to declare that you don’t have a criminal record. This will be checked.

 

How much will it cost me to apply?

From the 29th March onwards, all applications will be free. Prior to 29th March, applications attract a refundable fee of £65.00 for an adult and £32.50 for each child. This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement in January 2019 to scrap the above application fees.

 

How long will I be able to apply to the service for?

Applications must be submitted by 30th June 2021 (or 31st Dec 2020 if the UK leaves without a deal).

Early application is encouraged.

However, beyond this, according to the GOV.UK website you can still ‘apply to change your (pre-settled) status as soon as you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence. If you apply after April 2019, it will be free’.

 

 

What happens if there’s no deal?

EU citizens living in the UK prior to 29 March 2019 can still apply for settled status in a no-deal Brexit.

 

The Home Office has further stated that in the case of no deal EEA citizens who arrive in the UK after 29 March 2019, but who had lived in the UK prior to 29 March 2019, will be eligible to apply for settled status. It is not clear what the specific eligibility requirements will be for people with these circumstances who wish to apply for settled status.

 

EU citizens with settled status would be able to be joined in the UK, by 29 March 2022, by existing close family members, such as children, spouses and partners, parents and grandparents living overseas at exit, where the relationship existed by 29 March 2019 (or where a child was born overseas after this date) and continued to exist when the family member applied. After 29 March 2022, such family members will be able to join EU citizens here by applying through the applicable UK Immigration Rules.

 

EU citizens with settled status will be able to be joined by future spouses and partners (where the relationship was established after exit) and other dependent relatives until 31 December 2020, after which point the UK Immigration Rules would apply to such family reunion. Together this would bring the rights of EU citizens in line with the rights of UK nationals from 30 March 2022.[1]

 

I need further information/advice:

For further specialist information or to discuss points not covered here, you can contact the Europe Direct team at Avon and Bristol Law Centre: edic@ablc.org.uk or via their website.

 

From March 2019 onwards:

If you have applied for pre-settled or settled status and not received a response within the government’s designated services standards, you can contact Darren for support by emailing darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk or writing to Darren Jones MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.

Please ensure your email/ letter contains:

  • full name;
  • address (including postcode);
  • any relevant application details including the date you applied;
  • what you have applied for (pre-settled or settled status);
  • your application number and
  • please advise if you have applied for other family members within the same application. If so, please list their full names, relationship to you and ages.

Darren’s team of caseworkers will be able to contact the Home Office and ascertain the status of your application if it is overdue.

We anticipate an increase in the volume of enquiries from EU/EEA Citizens in the months running up to, and after, March 2019. We aim to start progression of your casefile within 2-3 weeks of receipt.

 

Accuracy of this webpage:

This webpage will be updated as new information is available but it should not be relied for immigration/legal advice. The information is correct as of February 2019.

 

[1]     Department for Exiting the European Union ‘Policy paper on citizens’ rights in the event of a no-deal Brexit’, December 2018, 12