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Foreword
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1. Introduction

Summary

This Statement of Intent sets out the basis of the EU Settlement Scheme we plan to begin opening later this year to enable EU citizens resident in the UK and their family members to continue living here permanently.

The scheme set out in this Statement of Intent will deliver on our commitments for a straightforward, user-friendly system for EU citizens and their family members to obtain UK immigration status. The majority of applicants will only need to prove their identity and that they are resident in the UK, and we will check that they are not a serious criminal. But the scheme will also cater for the wide variety of personal circumstances protected by the draft Withdrawal Agreement.

In line with the draft Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union published in March, the EU Settlement Scheme will mean that:

EU citizens and their family members who, by 31 December 2020, have been continuously resident in the UK for five years will be eligible for ‘settled status’, enabling them to stay indefinitely.

EU citizens and their family members who arrive by 31 December 2020, but will not yet have been continuously resident here for five years, will be eligible for ‘pre- settled status’, enabling them to stay until they have reached the five-year threshold. They can then also apply for settled status.

EU citizens and their family members with settled status or pre-settled status will have the same access as they currently do to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK.

Close family members (a spouse, civil partner, durable partner, dependent child or grandchild, and dependent parent or grandparent) living overseas will still be able to join an EU citizen resident here after the end of the implementation period, where the relationship existed on 31 December 2020 and continues to exist when the person wishes to come to the UK. Future children are also protected.

This will enable EU citizens and their family members living in the UK to continue their lives here much as before, with the same entitlements to work, study and access public services and benefits, determined according to the same rules as now.

There will be plenty of time for EU citizens and their family members to apply for their UK immigration status. There will be no change to their current rights under EU law until 31 December 2020, and the deadline for applications to the scheme for those resident here by the end of 2020 will be 30 June 2021.

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