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Settled Status: Proving Your Right to Work in the UK

Settled Status: Proving Your Right to Work in the UK

For years citizens of European Union (EU) countries, European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and Switzerland enjoyed Freedom of Movement across the European Union. This meant these citizens and their family members could look for a job without a work permit, reside, and enjoy equal treatment in other EU countries – this at the time included the United Kingdom. But following Brexit, the UK could no longer be involved in Free Movement – either UK citizens going abroad or EU citizens coming to the UK.

Because there are roughly 3.7 million EU citizens living in the UK, something had to be done to secure their residency and the lives they had worked hard to create here. The Settled Status Scheme gives indefinite leave to remain (Settled Status) to EU citizens who have lived and worked in the UK for at least five years. We explain what this is, and what EU citizens who haven’t hit the five-year requirement can do in order to continue living and working in the UK.

The Settled Status Scheme Explained

Applying for and receiving Settled Status will allow you to continue living and working in the UK. You should apply if you’re an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen who wishes to continue residence and employment in the UK. This can also be done if you’re a family member of an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen.

To apply, you’ll need to go to the government’s dedicated page which will walk you through the process. You’ll need to have proof of identification as well as proof of your residence over the last five years. If you’re applying as a family member, you’ll need to provide their proof of identification as well as proof of your relationship to that person (i.e.: birth certificate or marriage licence).

Once you receive your Settled Status, you’ll have indefinite leave to remain. Basically, you can continue to live and work in the UK. To prove your status to your employer, you’ll need to provide them with the identity document (i.e.: passport or ID card) connected to your status, your date of birth, and the mobile number or email address used when you applied. You can also get a Share Code to prove your status.

The deadline to apply for Settled Status is 30 June 2021. If you haven’t lived in the UK for five years by that date, you can still apply to the scheme, but you’ll receive Pre-Settled Status instead.

What Pre-Settled Means

If you haven’t lived in the UK for the required five years to apply for Settled Status, you can still apply to the scheme to receive Pre-Settled Status.

The difference between Pre-Settled Status and Settled Status is that you have limited leave to remain for five years instead of indefinite leave to remain (permanent). You will still be able to live, work, and receive healthcare. You won’t, however, be able to claim benefits as you won’t have the right to reside. You can stay in the UK for five years from the date you receive your pre-settled status.

Once you’ve reached five years of continuous residence in the UK, you can then apply to go from Pre-Settled Status to Settled Status. In order to receive this, however, you can not have left the UK for more than 6 months in any 12-month period.

What Happens After 30 June?

The deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021, though you will need to have started living and working in the UK by 31 December 2020. If you have not applied to the scheme by the deadline, you will be in the UK illegally.

There is a list of “reasonable grounds to apply late” from the Home Office that’s been released. This includes if you have put in your application close to the deadline and don’t have a decision yet. If this is the case you will still be able to continue to have your rights protected until a decision has been made. The list also includes children whose parent or guardian failed to apply for them, serious medical conditions, or those in an abusive or controlling relationship.

If you have already received your settled status, any employer, landlord or local council can look up your status online following the 30 June deadline.

How PSI Global Can Help

If you’re still unsure about what to do or need to discuss your situation further, you can call our team on 0800 009 2997 to discuss your particular situation with a member of our team.


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