The EU Settlement Scheme has now been fully open since 30 March 2019. The scheme allows EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK to secure their status in the UK, in the event of UK’s Exit from the EU.
The scheme, which is free, requires the applicants to prove their identity and residence in the UK. In addition, the applicants would also have to declare any criminality. The applications are made online, with provision for vulnerable applicants to seek assistance.
Why is this scheme relevant?
The uncertainty of the UK leaving the EU with or without a deal continues to loom over us. This is especially concerning for employers who rely on their EU workforce or hire from the EU. This scheme protects the residence status of these EU citizens, either allowing them to stay in the UK permanently (if they have 5-years of residence in the UK) or to obtain an interim status to complete this status (known as Pre-Settled Status).
Current status of this scheme
As per the latest government data, as of 10 June 2019, over 800,000 applications have been received, with 700,000 grants. An overwhelming number of these applications have bene from England (726,700) followed by Scotland (33,600), Wales (17,600) and Northern Ireland (9,000).
Why should you apply now?
The application is free, and even if this further status is obtained, the existing rights of EU citizens remain intact until Brexit happens. A successful application also reduces the risk of a no-deal Brexit and the effect it can have on workforce numbers.
How can we help?
At Clarkslegal LLP we have now helped employers, EU citizens and their family members in respect of the EU Settlement Scheme. We can provide factsheets, seminars and webinars to employers which can be disseminated to their employees, and for the applicants themselves we can assist them in achieving this status. We have also assisted family members of EU citizens to obtain status under this scheme if already in the UK or to obtain a EU Settlement Scheme family permit, if outside the UK.