Status of EU Nationals and their family members

Status of EU Nationals and their family members

The United Kingdom formally left the European Union (EU) on the 31st January 2020. 

The UK is now in what is being called a ‘transition period’ which will end on the 31st December 2020. If you are an Irish national, the information below will not apply to you.

If you are still concerned about your status in the UK, please do not hesitate to contact the RCN on 0345 772 6100 and you will be referred to our Immigration Advice Service. Lines are open 8:30am - 8:30pm, 7 days a week.

1.) Can I still live and work in the UK now that the UK has left the EU?

Yes, you will be able to continue to live and work in the UK.

If you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years, you will be eligible to apply for EU settled status.  The absolute deadline to apply for EU settled status is 30th June 2021. However, we strongly advise that you apply before 31st December 2020. After this date you can be asked by an employer, or by the NHS to prove your immigration status in the UK.

If successful, you will be registered as having settled status, but you will not be given a physical document that confirms your status in the UK.  

2.) What if I have not been living in the UK for five years on the 30th June 2021?

You will not be eligible for EU settled status but you will be eligible to apply for pre-settled status if you can show that you have been living in the UK before the 31st December 2020.

Like EU settled status, if you are granted pre-settled status, you will not be given a physical document. 

3.) Once I have settled status, will I lose it if I leave the UK?

You risk losing settled status if you are absent from the UK for more than five years. If you have Pre-settled status, the length of time you can be absent from the UK is two years. However, this will break your continuous residence in the UK which will affect your ability to apply for settled status as you will not have been living in the UK for a continuous five years period.

4.) Can I appeal against a decision if I am refused settled status?

Yes, you can appeal.

Depending on the reason for the decision, it may be easier to submit a new application if the reasons for refusal was on the basis that you did not provide information that you could have done. However, if you are refused because you have been residing in the UK for at least five years, but had problems trying to obtain the information proving five years residence, you should appeal against the decision.

Our solicitors at the Immigration Advice Service at the Royal College Of Nursing can assist you with preparation and representation at the appeal.

5.) I have an EU permanent residence card. Do I still need to apply for EU settled status? 

Yes. After the 31st December 2020, those cards will no longer be valid. You must apply for EU settled, or pre-settled status.

6.) I am an EU national. I was granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) many years ago. Do I still need to apply for EU settled status?

EU nationals who lived in the UK before 2006 when the EU Regulations came into force would have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. This would be either in the form of a letter or stamped in their passport. Your residence is still valid, and you will be lawfully resident in the UK after 30th June 2021.

If your ILR proof is in the form of a letter or passport stamp or you have lost this documentation, you have one of two options.

a) Apply for EU settled status. The benefit of this is that under the current ILR rules, you can lose this status if you are out of the UK for more than two years. Individuals with EU settled status can be absent for five years. 

b) Apply for a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) under the Windrush Scheme. If you are eligible to apply and have lost your ILR documentation or would simply like to have a physical document proving your immigration status, then you can apply for a BRP which will prove your ILR status.

7.) I have just applied for EU settled status, but I have not been given a decision. I need to travel back to my country of origin urgently. Will I have to withdraw my application? 

No, you will not have to withdraw your application. Normally under the Immigration Rules, an applicant with a pending immigration application would not be able to leave the UK. However, an exception has been made for EU settled status applications. 

8.) I have an EU Permanent Residence Card. Can I still apply for British citizenship?

As you have the card showing permanent residence, you can apply for British citizenship straight away. If you have EU settled status, you will need to wait 12 months from the date you were issued with settled status before you can apply for citizenship.

The Home Office are still accepting applications for EU permanent residence applications and will do so until 31st December 2020. The only benefit at this stage for applying for EU permanent residence is to be able to apply for British citizenship sooner rather than later. 

9.) I live in the UK, but I am non-EU family member. Can I apply under the EU settlement scheme?

Yes, you can. The eligibility criteria will be the same as your EU family member. 

Immigration

If you're an RCN member already in the UK, you can get free, confidential support and assistance on immigration issues.

0345 772 6100

8.30am to 8.30pm
seven days a week, 365 days a year

+44 207 647 3456

if you're calling from overseas