Following Theresa May’s announcement that application fees will be scrapped for settled status applications, we set out who needs to apply and how.
Who does this affect?
EEA nationals or nationals exercising their equivalent Treaty rights, which means working, studying, or being a person of independent means in the UK.
This covers nationals from the EU member states:
- Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK;
- EEA nationals from Liechstenstein and Norway; and
- Nationals with equivalent rights from Switzerland.
If this applies to you, or you employ someone who is, read on.
What do I need to do?
An EEA national exercising Treaty rights, that includes working, studying, or being a person of independent means, who has been in the UK for over 5 years, can make an application for settled status.
If exercising Treaty rights for fewer than 5 years, you can make an application for pre-settled status.
When does this need to be done by?
If we have a ‘no deal’ Brexit, by 31 December 2020.
If we leave the EU with a deal, by 30 June 2021.
How can this be done?
The first stage is to have your ID checked. This can be done via a governmental Android app.
The second stage is to complete an online application form, which includes a criminal convictions check, and supply of evidence that you have been exercising your Treaty rights.
When is the best time to do this?
It is up to you but several things might influence your decision.
- Administrative burden: If you are currently eligible for pre-settled status but likely to become eligible for settled status before the application deadline, you might wish to wait. Those who obtain pre-settled status will need to apply to convert this to settled status as soon as they become eligible to do so. There will be no fee for this switch.
- Cost: Although technically free, if an application is made before 30 March 2019, there is a refundable £65.00 fee. There are some exceptions, e.g. if you already have a permanent residence card. If an application is made after 30 March 2019, there should be no fee payable at all.
What will I get?
An electronic confirmation of your settled status, which you can present at UK border control. There will be no separate residence card for this.