The Settled Status also referred as indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. This is set out in the Immigration Rules. The legal policy was introduced on 31st October 2019, following the agreement reached on the 17th of October 2019. The ettled status scheme is for EEA nationals and non-EEA national family members.
Appendix EU under the Immigration Rules, sets out what a person must do in order to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK:
“The applicant meets the eligibility requirements for indefinite leave to enter or remain as a relevant EEA citizen or their family member (or as a person with a derivative right to reside or a person with a Zambrano right to reside) where the Secretary of State is satisfied, including (where applicable) by the required evidence of family relationship, that, at the date of application, one of conditions 1 to 7 set out in the table is met.”
The EU Settlement Scheme provides a basis, consistent with the draft Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union reached on 17 October 2019 and with the citizens’ rights agreements reached with the other European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland, for resident EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members to apply for the UK immigration status which they will require in order to remain here beyond the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020.
The EU Settlement Scheme will also be the basis on which EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK before exit and their family members will be able to apply for UK immigration status in order to remain here in the event of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal.
The immigration status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme, under Part 1 of Appendix EU, is either indefinite leave to enter (ILE) (where the application is made outside the UK) or indefinite leave to remain (ILR) (where the application is made within the UK) – also referred to for the purposes of the scheme as ‘settled status’ – or 5 years’ limited leave to enter (LTE) (where the application is made outside the UK) or 5 years’ limited leave to remain (LTR) (were the application is made within the UK) – also referred to as ‘pre-settled status’.
In all immigration applications, the Home Office will conduct suitability of leave to enter or remain. You must ensure that the pre-settled status application contains all correct and relevant information. If you provide misleading information, representations or documents, then your application will be refused and a ban will be applied. This may also result in your removal from the UK or deportation.
Where you have committed a criminal offence or committed a civil conviction, this could impact your immigration application. Depending on the severity of the offence, this would impact the application.
Applying for settled status application
The settled status application can be applied online or by post. There are no Home Office fees associated to the application. The application for the settled status is similar to permanent residency, however the policy now exists under the Immigration Rules. This grants you indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK and without any restrictions of stay.
For the application as a settled status to be treated as valid, you must follow the correct application process, must provide evidences of your identity, the relevant evidences to support your application and the required biometric information.
Depending on your immigration status, you may need to apply online or using a prescribed immigration form. The settled status application form is available in the Home Office website. Failure to provide the specified evidences as outlined under the Immigration Rules, your application can be rejected and there are no right to appeal against the decision.
You will need to meet the continuous residency requirements, and you will need be falling under the following allowable categories of migrant:
A relevant EEA citizen.
A family member of a relevant EEA citizen.
A family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen.
A person with a derivative right to reside.
A person with a Zambrano right to reside.
A person who had a derivative or Zambrano right to reside.
The above periods should cover the 5 years continuous residency. As part of the application, you will need to provide evidences to cover the periods of the continuous residency requirements. For example, if you have ceased activity as a qualified person, i.e. have retired, then you would have to provide that you have been employed or have been self-employed for more than 12 months and have been resident in the UK for more than 3 years.
Once the application is applied using the correct process, the Home Office will issue a “certificate of application”, which confirms that an application is live and valid. It does not give any confirmation of your legal status.
The decision on your settled status does not take more than 6 months, and decisions arrive much sooner. This also depends on case by case basis. Some will have a very simple application, i.e. have been employed throughout their 5 years residence, limited absences and no issues on their suitability checks i.e. criminality checks.
Family members applying for settled status
A family member can apply for settled status once they have completed the 5 years period of qualifying residency in the UK. Family members includes but not limited to spouse, civil partner, durable partner, children under 21 years of age, dependent children over 21 years of age, dependent parent and dependent relative prior to leave granted before 1st February 2017.
The application for the settled status requires you to submit evidences to support the application, for example, if you are married, then you must include evidences of a marriage certificate, evidences of your relationship and the intention to live together as husband and wife in the UK.
Further to these evidences, the Home Office will ask for employment, residency documents and any other evidences relevant to the application. You are advised to submit the correct evidences to support the settled status application.
Refusal of a settled status application
If your application for a settled status is refused, you will be able to appeal against the decision. You will have 14 days to lodge an appeal against the decision and the Home Office will reconsider their decision. The matter could be listed at the First Tier Tribunal.
When challenging against the refusal, you will be asked to complete the claim form, submit the legal grounds and evidences.
We recommend that you take some legal advice at first, to see whether the decision was reached correctly or not. You can email us a copy of the decision letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of our process, we will advise whether you should appeal the decision or re-apply for the EEA settled status application. We will explain our reasons on why you should either appeal or submit a new application.
Legal advice for the settled status application
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