The deadline for applications for the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. Below, Elaine Gray and Huw Thomas outline the scheme and address the concerns for Guernsey and Jersey employers in relation to its deadline.
As explained in our What Brexit means for Guernsey and Jersey briefing note, one of the impacts of Brexit is in relation to the immigration rights of EU nationals living in Guernsey and Jersey. The EU Settlement Scheme was established in order to protect the rights of citizens of the European Union, European Economic Action area and Switzerland and their families, provided they arrived on the island before 31 December 2020.
The Scheme provides a mechanism for such persons to apply for settled status. The Scheme works in conjunction with the islands' immigration regimes and in simple terms requires the applicant to show that they have the right to remain indefinitely in the Bailiwick of Guernsey or Jersey. It is this 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' that is the key hallmark of eligibility. Once Indefinite Leave to Remain has been granted, it will only be lost if the person leaves the UK or the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey for five consecutive years (or four if you are a citizen of Switzerland).
It is important to remember that the Scheme operates as part of the immigration regime. In itself it does not confer any rights to work in the islands, which in Guernsey is governed by the Population Management regime and in Jersey is governed by the Business Licensing scheme.
So far the States of Guernsey has granted over 3,500 applications. In Jersey, the number of EU nationals eligible was estimated at 20,000 but by the end of 2020 only 14,000 had applied. The deadline of 30 June 2021 is fast approaching. Applications are free but there is likely to be a rush so we recommend getting applications in as soon as possible. Although the application can only be made by individuals, employers need to be aware of the Scheme too as it is a criminal offence to employ someone who does not have the necessary immigration permissions.
Details of the Scheme in Guernsey and Jersey can be found below.