The EU Settlement Scheme: Everything You Need to Know
A Summary on How to Prepare for the New EU Settlement Scheme
On 30th June 2021, the United Kingdom will introduce the new EU Settlement Scheme. With only a few weeks to go, we have collated all the essential information you should know in preparation for the deadline.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme applies to European Union (EU) citizens currently living in the UK. Following the implementation of Brexit on 31st January, individuals must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to legally stay in the country.
Successful applicants will receive either settled or pre-settled status.
Ministers have stated that EU nationals who have lived in the UK for five years by the end of 2020 will be granted settled status, providing they do not obtain criminal convictions or a security reason as to why they cannot stay. During those five years, the individual must have spent at least six months each year in the UK. If granted settled status, the person will obtain the same rights to healthcare, education, benefits, and pensions as a British citizen.
EU nationals who have not lived in the UK for at least five years will be given pre-settled status, allowing them to stay in the UK until they have reached their five-year mark. The individual is then required to claim settled status to continue living in the UK.
Why is the EU Settlement Scheme being introduced?
As a country of the EU, citizens have a right to freedom of movement throughout EU countries. Due to the introduction of Brexit, the UK is no longer an EU country, meaning EU citizens living and working in the UK will no longer be permitted to reside there legally without a successful application.
Who is impacted by the EU Settlement Scheme?
According to the BBC, approximately three million EU citizens living in the UK need to apply for the Settlement Scheme.
The £65 fee for EU nationals wishing to stay in the country was ceased, and the application is now free.
The EU Settlement Scheme applies to all EU citizens, including those married to a British citizen. Adults must also apply on behalf of their children.
Furthermore, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway citizens must apply for the scheme despite not being EU member states.
How does the EU Settlement Scheme Affect Employers?
As an employer, you do not have the responsibility to ensure your EU employees have applied but can advise and remind them of the approaching deadline to prevent legal complications.
Employers are not required to carry out Right to Work Checks on existing employees after the 30th June 2021. However, from 1st July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss employees must provide evidence of either pre-settled or settled status or a visa under the points-based immigration system.
How do you apply?
EU nationals wishing to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme should fill out a form online, via post, or on a smartphone app. The smartphone app is limited to Android phones, but the government are working on a solution for Apple phones too.
Applicants must provide proof of ID and residence in the UK, as well as information on criminal convictions and a digital photo of themselves.
To access the online EU Settlement Scheme form, please click here.