What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme allows people to get the immigration status they need to continue to live, work and study in the UK beyond 30th June 2021.
Who should apply?
Except in a few cases, EEA (EEA countries are EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Swiss citizens, resident in the UK by 31st December 2020, and their non-EU family members, need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
If someone is an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen they may be able to stay in the UK without applying – for example, if they are an Irish citizen or already have indefinite leave to remain.
What is Pre-settled status?
If someone receives pre-settled status, also known as limited leave to remain or enter, this means they can stay in the UK for a period of five years. This will allow them to remain in the UK until they are eligible for settled status, generally once they have lived continuously in the UK for five years. Then they can apply for settled status
What is Settled status?
If someone receives settled status, also known as indefinite leave to remain or enter, this means there is no time limit on how long they can stay in the UK. They can go on to apply for British citizenship if they meet the requirements and want to apply.
Both pre-settled status and settled status allows someone to continue to live, work and study in the UK. People cannot chose which one to apply for, it is based on how long someone has lived in the UK.
When can people apply?
The EU Settlement Scheme is open. People can apply now, if they meet the criteria.
The deadline for applying is 30th June 2021. People must usually have started living in the UK by 31st December 2020.
What are peoples’ rights with settled or pre-settled status?
They will be able to:
- work in the UK
- use the NHS for free, if they can at the moment
- enrol in education or study in the UK
- access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if they are eligible for them
- travel in and out of the UK
People will have different rights if they get settled or pre-settled status because they have applied to join their EU, EEA or Swiss family member and they arrived in the UK after 31st December 2020. For example, they will not be able to bring their own family members under the EU Settlement Scheme.
If someone works in the UK but does not live here (‘frontier worker’)
They do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if they are a ‘frontier worker’ or have a Frontier Worker permit.
What happens after someone has applied?
If their application is successful, a letter will be emailed to them confirming their settled or pre-settled status.
How to view and prove someone’s status?
Someone can view their status or prove it to someone else online. They will not usually get a physical document.
If someone is from outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland?
Someone will get a physical document if they do not already have a biometric residence card.
The document they get under the EU Settlement Scheme proves their rights in the UK only.
If they already have a biometric residence card, they do not need to apply for a new one once you have settled or pre-settled status.
Can I still employ a European National?
Yes you can. Until the 30th June 2021, you will continue to check an applicant’s right to work in the same way that you do now. You cannot request to see proof of their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30th June 2021.
Do I need to sponsor people?
Unless the candidate has Pre-Settled or Settled Status, then if you are hiring people from outside the UK, after 31st December 2020, you will need a sponsor licence. You can apply for a sponsor licence https://www.gov.uk/apply-sponsor-licence and if successful, you will then be given a licence rating. Once you have got the licence, you will be able to issue Certificates of sponsorship to people you want to employ who live outside of the UK.
How does the points-based immigration system work?
Under the new immigration points-based system, anyone that wants to come into the UK needs to meet a set of requirements. Each requirement has points associated to it. To be granted a Visa, people need to reach a minimum number of points, which is currently set at 70.
There are a number of different immigration routes for someone to enter the UK.
The point-based immigration system doesn’t apply to EU citizens that already live in the UK prior to 31st December 2020
What happens if I employ someone without immigration permission?
It is a criminal offence to knowingly employee a person who requires immigration permission but has not got it. The maximum prison sentence is 2 years plus an unlimited fine.
If you need any assistance understanding the requirements of right to work please call us on 01527 909436.