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2. Who can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme?
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4. How will a valid application under the scheme be made?

3.What requirements must be met for status to be granted under the scheme?

3.1.The UK has decided that the main requirement for status to be granted under the EU Settlement Scheme will be residence in the UK, generally in line with current free movement rules on the continuity of that residence.

3.2.The person will also need to make a valid application under the scheme (see section 4) and not fall to be refused because of serious or persistent criminality or other public policy reasons, as set out in the agreement on citizens’ rights reached with the EU

(see section 5).

3.3.Otherwise, where the EU citizen or their family member has been continuously resident in the UK for five years (less in some particular circumstances: see paragraph 3.7, below), they will be eligible under the scheme for settled status under UK immigration law, which is referred to under the Immigration Act 1971 as indefinite leave to remain or ILR (and which will be granted under Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules: see Annex B).

3.4.Where the EU citizen or their family member has been continuously resident in the UK for less than five years, they will be eligible under the scheme for pre-settled status under UK immigration law, which is referred to under the 1971 Act as limited leave to remain or LTR (and which will also be granted under Appendix EU to the Rules).

What does ‘continuously resident’ mean?

If the person has been continuously resident in the UK for less than five

years, it generally means that they have not been absent from the UK for more than six months in total in any 12-month period. There is no restriction on the number of absences permitted, provided that the total period of absence does not exceed six months in any 12-month period.

There are some exceptions:

A single period of absence of more than six months but which does not exceed 12 months is permitted, where this is for an important reason, such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting.

Any period of absence on compulsory military service is permitted.

Continuity of residence is broken (and restarts from scratch on release, where this is before the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020) where the person served or is serving a sentence of imprisonment of any length in the UK, unless:

The person has resided in the UK continuously for at least 10 years (and has the right of permanent residence in the UK under the EEA Regulations)4 and the Home Office considers that they had forged integrating links with the UK which were not broken by imprisonment and that, overall, it would not be appropriate to treat imprisonment as breaking continuity of residence.

Continuity of residence is likewise broken if for example a deportation order, exclusion order or exclusion decision is made, or the person is removed from the UK under the EEA Regulations, unless this has been set aside or no longer has effect.

Once the person has been continuously resident in the UK for five

years, this means that they will be eligible for settled status where, since completing that period, they have not been absent from the UK for more than five consecutive years (as set out in the draft Withdrawal Agreement, rather than for more than two consecutive years as set out in the Free Movement Directive) when they apply under the scheme.

It also means for example that, since completing that five-year period, a deportation order, exclusion order or exclusion decision has not been made against them and they have not been removed from the UK under the EEA Regulations, unless this has been set aside or no longer has effect.

3.5.Pre-settled status means that the person will (in all cases) be granted five years’ limited leave to remain, and they will be eligible to apply for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) as soon as they have completed five years’ continuous residence in the UK

(less in some particular circumstances: see paragraph 3.7, below) and, from April 2019, free of charge (see paragraph 4.6, below). In the meantime, as reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement, they will continue to have the same entitlements as now to work, study and access public services and benefits, according to the same rules as now.

3.6.We are considering carefully how we can ensure that EU citizen family members of HM Forces personnel, and EU citizen Crown servants and their family members and the EU citizen family members of British citizen Crown servants, are not unfairly disadvantaged under the scheme by absences from the UK as a result of overseas postings. Further details will be published in due course.

3.7.In some particular circumstances, an EU citizen or their family member resident here will be eligible for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) with less than five years’

continuous residence in the UK where some particular detailed requirements, set out in the Free Movement Directive, are met:

When is a person eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence in the UK?

If the person is an EU citizen continuously resident in the UK, they will be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence, if they:

(a)were a worker or self-employed person5 in the UK and then terminated that activity, having reached the age of entitlement to a state pension (or having been a worker, having taken early retirement), and, immediately before that, they had been a worker or self-employed person in the UK for at least the preceding 12 months and had been continuously resident in the UK for more than the preceding three years; or

(b)stopped being a worker or self-employed person owing to permanent incapacity to work, having been continuously resident in the UK for more than the preceding two years or the incapacity having resulted from an accident at work or an occupational disease that entitles the person to a pension payable in full or in part by an institution in the UK; or

(c)were continuously resident in the UK for at least three years as a worker or self-employed person, immediately before becoming a worker or self- employed person in another EU country, while retaining a place of residence in the UK to which they return, as a rule, at least once a week.

The conditions as to length of residence and of employment in (a) and (b), above, do not apply where the EU citizen is the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen.

If the person is a family member of an EU citizen granted settled status

as described above in this table, they will also be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence if they:

were that person’s family member at the point that person met the conditions in (a), (b) or (c), above; and

are continuously resident in the UK.

If the person is a family member of an EU citizen who has died and the EU citizen was resident in the UK as a worker or self-employed person

at the time of their death, they will be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence if:

the EU citizen was continuously resident in the UK for at least two years before their death, or their death was the result of an accident at work or an occupational disease; and

the family member was resident in the UK with the EU citizen immediately before their death, and is continuously resident in the UK.

If the person is a child6 under the age of 21 years of an EU citizen (or of their spouse or civil partner) who is continuously resident in the UK,

they will be eligible for settled status with less than five years’ continuous residence if:

the relevant EU citizen (or their spouse or civil partner) has been or is being granted settled status under the scheme (or, in the case of an Irish citizen, they would be so if they made a valid application under the scheme).

3.8.Where an EU citizen or their family member has ceased to be continuously resident in the UK, they will be eligible for pre-settled status (limited leave to remain) under the scheme where they start a new period of continuous residence in the UK by 31 December 2020.

3.9.An EU citizen continuously resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 will be able to be joined after that date by close family members7 resident overseas, if the relationship existed at that date and it continues to exist when the person wishes to come to the UK (see section 6). The scheme will also be open in certain circumstances to a non-British citizen child born in the UK or overseas after 31 December 2020 to (or adopted by) a parent or parents eligible for status under the scheme.

4The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 13

5Within the meaning of the EEA Regulations.

6A grandchild or great-grandchild will be able to qualify for settled status on the same basis as other family members.

7A spouse, civil partner, durable partner, dependent child or grandchild (including of the spouse or civil partner), or dependent parent or grandparent (including of the spouse or civil partner).

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2. Who can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme?
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4. How will a valid application under the scheme be made?


 

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