The EU Settlement Scheme and Brexit – Less than 2 Weeks to Go!
Recent figures show that approximately 900,000 EU citizens in the UK are yet to make an application for settled status, which is a requirement to implement if you wish to stay in the UK, post-Brexit.
As the figures stand so far, almost 2.5 million EU citizens (who have applied) have been informed by the Home Office that they can work and live in the UK after Brexit, while 6 so far have had their applications turned down (these 6 people had criminal convictions).
As things stand right now, if the UK leaves the EU with a deal the deadline to apply through the scheme is 30 June 2021. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal then the deadline for applying under the scheme will be 31 December 2020.
Following the victory of the conservatives in the most recent December election, which saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservative party gain a majority of 80 seats, MPs voted in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and the UK is now expected to meet the latest Brexit deadline which is in just under 2 weeks (11 PM on the 31st January 2020).
Moreover, the Brexit deal which was previously rejected by the UK parliament before the December election has now been put forward to the House of Lords for examination, with an answer from the house due any day now. Our view is that it is expected the House of Lords will wave the deal through without a hitch.
Some European political figures have argued recently that the current political mood in the UK has made many EU citizens feel like they are second class citizens and the European Parliament has put forward the view that there are increasing fears of deportation amongst those who have not sorted out their immigration status. However, the Prime Minister’s office (number 10) stated yesterday that no automatic deportations will take place for EU citizens, but all EU citizens who wish to remain in the UK MUST apply through the EU Settlement Scheme to avoid any future immigration problems in the long run after Brexit takes place.
The application process surrounding the EU Settlement Scheme is online, and EU citizens who are residing in the UK can apply directly on the home office website by clicking here. It is something that every EU citizen in the UK can, in fact, do themselves and each application will take some hours to process as a number of documents need to be uploaded to prove your EU nationality and your residency in the UK and the fact that you have no criminal convictions outstanding or pending. For more info on how to apply read our step by step article here.
Some of you who apply through the scheme may also have to send your documents by post. Specifically, those who:
- are non-EU or EEA passport
- have with no valid passport
- have no biometric residence permit
- have a non-biometric ID card
- have complex and nuance immigration situations and cases
If you need to apply by post for any reason, there is currently no postal application readily available so you will need to speak to the Home Office and explain your situation to them and they will send you an application on a case by case basis which you then post back. But, please keep in mind, that this is an extra step and does not apply for the vast majority of EU citizens who can apply directly online.
Can you appeal an EU Settlement Scheme Refusal?
There is no system of appeals yet for those who have had their pre-settled or settled status turned down (so far only 6 people, but there may be more in the future). There is a system of administrative review that is a review by the Home Office and failing that a judicial review by the upper immigration tribunal can take place, but this system for the moment is very costly. It is hoped that the government will carve out an appeal process in due course and we shall keep you updated about this.
How can Gulbenkian Andonian help?
If you feel that applying directly through the EU Settlement Scheme is too complicated for you or if your particular immigration status in the UK is specifically different to the norm, you can instruct our immigration lawyers in London to handle your whole application process for you. There will be many of you who find this process difficult and stressful and those such as elderly persons and people in care homes alongside other institutions who may not have access to the internet may not be able to use information technology to create their online applications. In this case, you may want to instruct our team for help and assistance or ask for help from other family members or loved ones to make it for you.