EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
The EU Settlement Scheme was set up by the UK government to process applications for immigration status from EU citizens and their family members who are living in the UK. When an application is successful, one of two types of immigration status is granted: Limited leave to remain, also referred to as pre-settled status; or Indefinite leave to remain, also referred to as settled status.
European Economic Area (EEA)
The European Economic Area is an area of free trade and free movement of peoples between the member states of the European Union, as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Though neither part of the EU or an EEA member state, Switzerland also benefits from the same freedom of movement rights as EEA member states.
The European Union (EU) is a economic and political union of 28 member states primarily located in Europe with an internal single market and a standardized system of laws which apply in all member states.
Current EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
The term ‘Brexit’ combines the words ‘Britain’ and ‘exit’ and widely refers to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The Home Office is the lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime, fire, counter-terrorism and police. In regards to the Home Office and the EU Settlement Scheme, the Home Office is responsible for reviewing applications and informing EU citizens as to whether or not they have been granted legal status.
Also known as indefinite leave to remain, this term is used by the government to indicate that an individual has no time limit on how long they can stay in the UK. After Brexit, EU citizens who have been granted settled status will continue to have the same access to work, study, healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK as they do under the current rules. Under settled status, an individual can leave the UK and return within five years and continue to live here as a settled person. If they are absent from the UK for more than five consecutive years however, their settled status will lapse. Furthermore, if they have a children born in the UK after being granted settled status, that child will be born a British citizen.
Also known as limited leave to remain, pre-settled status allows you to stay in the UK for a period of up to five years. This allows you to remain in the UK until you are eligible for settled status which has a requirement of five years of residence. EU citizens who have been granted pre-settled status will continue to have the same access to healthcare and public services as they do now.
Permanent residence status
Some EU citizens and their families may have documentation proof of ‘permanent residence’. Though this exists under today’s EU law, those who have previously been issue ‘permanent residence’ must still apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. Under the scheme they will not have to provide further evidence of qualifying residence but will be subject to criminal and security checks. Furthermore, the Home Office will need to confirm that their permanent residence status has not lapsed through absence of more than five consecutive years. The applicant will need to ‘self-declare’ that they have not been absent for such a period. If the Home Office is satisfied with the application, they will be eligible for settled status.
Being ‘continuously resident’ means not having left the UK for more than six months at a time. Someone who has been absent from the UK for six months or longer will break their continuous residence. There are generally only two exceptions from this general rule which can be found in Appendix EU of the UK Immigration Rules. These are:
a) a single period of absence which did not exceed 12 months and was for an important reason (such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting); or
b) any period of absence on compulsory military service.
Close family member
A close family member is a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependent child, dependent grandchild, dependent parent or dependent grandparent. A family member can come from anywhere in the world and need not be from the EU. If there is any doubt, a full list of definitions of a child, spouse etc. can be found at Annex 1 – Definitions of the Appendix EU rules.
Administrative review (in regards to refused status)
Within the decision letter received after making an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be told whether your application can be reviewed. You can apply for administrative review if either your application was refused on eligibility grounds or you were granted pre-settled status but believe you quality for settled status. You can also make a new application under the EU settlement scheme at any point. This application will be free. In order to make an application for administrative review you must apply within 28 days of the date of your decision email by completing an administrative review application form. It costs £80 to apply for an administrative review with this fee being refunded if the original decision is withdrawn due to a case working error or your application for a review is rejected because it is invalid.