If you or your close family members are European Union (EU), or EEA Citizens please read to ensure your right to remain in the UK is protected.

Who does this affect?

  • If you are currently residing in the United Kingdom, the deadline to apply for an application under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30th June 2021
  • If you are an EU/EEA national who is not residing in the UK and you wish to be able to reside in the UK, you must have been resident in the UK before the 31st December 2020 in order to make an application.
  • If you are a family member of an EU or EEA National, strict conditions apply. Please contact Branch Austin McCormick for further information. 

31st December 2020 – 30th June 2021 – The Grace Period

Between the 31st December 2020, when Freedom of Movement for EU Member States and the UK ceases, and the 30th June 2021 where the EUSS scheme ends is referred to as ‘The Grace Period’

  • This period allows for those EU/EEA nationals and their family members who have been resident in the UK prior to the 31st December 2020, but have not applied under the EUSS scheme to make their application. 

It is important to note that EU/EEA nationals and their immediate family members can apply under the EUS scheme during the Grace Period, however there will be no protection provided by the EEA Regulations during this transient phase. As a consequence a person’s immigration status will not be secure until their a grant under the EUS Scheme. 

According to the Citizens Rights (Application Deadline and Temporary Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 – if a person has not applied pursuant to the EUSS by the 31st December 2020, they will only be protected during the Grace Period if they are a ‘Relevant Person’. A ‘Relevant Person’ refers to a person who was ‘lawfully resident’ in the UK prior to the 31st December 2021 and in accordance with the EEA Regs 2016.

  • Being ‘lawfully resident’ according to the 2016 EEA Regulations refers to a person who was ‘exercising treaty rights’ as an EEA or Swiss national within the first 3 months of entering the UK, they must therefore have exercised treaty rights prior to the 31st December 2021. In the alternative, if an applicant holds PR (Permanent Residence) they are also deemed to be lawfully resident in the United Kingdom. 

 What is the definition of ‘exercising treaty rights’ ?

  • This means a person must fall into one of five categories:
    • Worker
    • Jobseeker
    • Self-employed person
    • Self Sufficient 
    • Student
      • Please note each category requires specific documentation to evidence an applicant meets the definition of ‘exercising treaty rights’. 

What if I enter the UK after the Grace Period as an EEA or Swiss National?

  • Applicants who enter after the Grace Period or cannot sufficiently meet the requirements to corroborate that they lawfully resided in the UK prior to the 31st December 2021 will be subject to domestic UK Immigration control conditions and requirements, in line with the UK’s newly inducted points-based system. 

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme enables EEA Nationals to reside in the UK beyond the Brexit Transition Period. 

There are two types of status which successful applicants can be endorsed with:

  • Pre-Settled Status 
  • Settled Status 

The distinction as to the type of settled status an applicant will be reward pivots on the period of continuous residence that a prospective applicant can evidence in an application. 

Pre-Settled Status is granted to an applicant who has resided in the UK for a period of less than five years. In order to qualify an applicant must evidence that this period of residency commenced prior to the 31stDecember 2020.

Settled Status requires an applicant to have been resident in the UK for a continuous five-year period. Settled Status grants successful applicants with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom. 

What should I do now?

If you have not already applied under the EU Settlement Scheme to secure your right to remain in the UK, you should make an application in good time. It is imperative to secure your right to remain in the UK beyond Brexit. This applies to EU nationals who hold other certificates or permits include registration, family members residence cards or permanent residence. 

Our immigration specialists strongly recommend applicants who are eligible to apply for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status, as early as possible. Prospective applicants should be aware of the Grace Period ending on the 30th June 2021 and the additional requirements which have been set out briefly in this article.

It is vital to ensure you can evidence that you were exercising treaty rights prior to the 31st December 2021 and you possess the key documentation to evidence this in your application. 

Adverse applications and non-compliance with immigration laws can result future applications and your right to remain in the UK. If you have any doubt as to your position, we strongly advise you contact Branch Austin McCormick as a matter of urgency.

Branch Austin McCormick are renowned for providing specialist legal advice in matters EU immigration matters. Our immigration team possess a wealth of knowledge in regard to applications, having assisted many applications and complex scenarios with a high rate of success. If you have any particular queries, questions or concerns please contact us by email at info@branchaustinmccormick.com or by telephone 24 hours a day at +44 (0) 207 724 4488.