2. Who can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme?

2.Who can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme?

2.1.EU citizens and their family members resident in the UK before the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

2.2.People considered to be ‘resident in the UK’ will include those here before midnight on 31 December 2020. It will also include those previously resident in the UK who are outside the UK on that date but who have maintained continuity of residence here, generally as set out in current free movement rules for those who have not already acquired EU permanent residence rights, and up to five years’ absence for those who have (see paragraph 3.4, below). So, for example, those who are continuously resident in the UK but who happen to be abroad on business or holiday or living overseas temporarily on 31 December 2020 will still be protected.

2.3.Otherwise, those applying under the EU Settlement Scheme will not be required to show that they meet all the requirements of current free movement rules, such as any requirement to have held comprehensive sickness insurance or generally to detail the exercise of specific rights (e.g. the right to work) under EU law. The UK has decided, as a matter of domestic policy, that the main requirement for eligibility under the settlement scheme will be continuous residence in the UK.

2.4.In addition, the scheme will also be open to close family members resident overseas on 31 December 2020. Under the agreement on citizens’ rights reached with the

EU, an EU citizen resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to be joined after that date by close family members3 resident overseas, if the relationship existed at that date and it continues to exist when the person wishes to come to the UK.

2.5.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.

2.6.Irish citizens enjoy a right of residence in the UK that is not reliant on the UK’s membership of the EU. They will not be required to apply for status under the scheme (but may do so if they wish), and their eligible family members (who are not Irish citizens or British citizens) will be able to obtain status under the scheme without the Irish citizen doing so.

2.7.More detail on the family members who can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme is set out in section 6.

3 A 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).