The deadline to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme is approaching, and many clients have contacted us with a variety of concerns regarding registering under the scheme. Here are some frequently asked questions:
I got pre-settled status in December 2019, and I left the UK in April 2020 when the pandemic started. Since then, I haven’t returned to the UK, because my flights kept getting cancelled. Is my pre-settled status still valid?
Make sure you keep all documentation about your flights being cancelled as a result of Coronavirus. With pre-settled status, if you spend more than 6 months within a one year period outside of the UK, you normally lose your right to then apply for settled status (permanent residence). However, the Home Office have said that in certain circumstances, time outside the UK during the pandemic can be an exemption to the rules. This is for being stuck outside the UK due to travel restrictions (so, cancelled flights are great proof of this), being ill with Covid-19 or related complications, or being in quarantine.
I got pre-settled status in February 2020 and left the UK to spend lockdown with my family in Argentina. I haven’t tried to come back to the UK yet. Can I come back when lockdown lifts and continue to live in the UK?
Unfortunately, no. As explained above, the Home Office have granted some allowance regarding time spent outside the UK with pre-settled status. However, unfortunately, situations that are not covered are where a citizen has made a conscious decision to remain abroad for economic reasons, because they wanted to be closer to their family members or because they considered the risk to their health to be greater in the UK than in another country. As you stayed outside the UK to be with your family and have not tried to return to the UK yet, you do not fit into this category.
I am a Spanish citizen living in the UK. Which relatives can come from Spain to join me in the UK now?
Until 30th June 2021, you can still bring some relatives to live in the UK. These are: spouses, durable unmarried partners (if you can prove you have lived together for at least two years), parents, parents-in-law, daughters, sons, grandchildren, and grandparents. The familiar relationship must have existed before 31/12/2020 (apart from newborn or newly adopted children). These relatives are able to apply directly for the EU Settlement Scheme from outside of the UK, or they can apply for an EUSS Family Permit, and apply for the EU Settlement Scheme within 3 months of their arrival in the UK.
I’ve heard if I want to bring my relatives to the UK now, I need to have proof that they depend on me. Is this true?
Currently, the rules are different for different relatives. At the moment, there is no need to prove dependency in your application if you are being joined by a minor son or daughter (under 21), a parent/parent in law, or grandparent. However, you will currently need to prove dependency in the case of children over 21 joining you in the UK (i.e prove that you support them financially from abroad). Also, after 30/06/2020, the rules will get stricter, and you will need to prove dependency in all of these cases.
I am a single mother living in the UK with my 6 year old. We have lived here for 2 years. My child has a European passport. Can we both apply to live in the UK with the EU Settlement Scheme?
Yes, your child has to register under the EU Settlement Scheme like any Europea, and you can then apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by applying for a paper form from the Home Office under Derivative Residence Rights. MPB Solicitors can assist you with this.
I am Spanish and my boyfriend is Colombian. We both came to the UK in December. Can we get married once lockdown is over and both stay in the UK?
Unfortunately you will not be able to register under the EU Settlement Scheme, because the marriage would take place after the 31/12/2020 deadline. This however does not mean that you will not be able to obtain a residence permit in the UK, just that it will not be under the EU Settlement Scheme. There are other routes to stay in the UK as a partner of someone with pre-settled or settled status under the rules of what is known as Appendix FM.
I came to the UK on a tourist visa from Argentina in December. I don’t have a European passport nor any relatives in the UK. Can I now apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?
Unfortunately not. You will need to see if you qualify for a visa under other immigration rukles.
I am Peruvian. I was married to an Italian man. We both got pre-settled status in 2018. He is now applying for divorce. Can I stay in the UK?
You can retain your right to remain in the UK independently of your ex-partner if 3 years have passed since you were married until the divorce proceedings were initiated, if you lived together in the UK for at least one year, and he was working, or had permanent residence when the divorce proceedings were initiated and if you are working after the divorce decree absolute was issued.
I have 2 children that were born in the UK in 2011. Are they British citizens, and could I also get British nationality?
A child being born in the UK does not mean that they are automatically British, however, if they have spent the first 10 years of their life in the UK, they can be registered as British nationals. Another possibility is if you (or your partner) were granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or Indefinite Leave to Remain, your children would then be entitled to register as British Citizens.