EU Settlement Scheme Q and A

EU and UK flags

Brexit has prompted the biggest changes to the immigration system in decades.  As a registered immigration advisers, we're in a position to point you in the right direction.  We can look after advice and support permissible for OISC registered advisers at Level 1(EUSS). 

Check out the FAQ under, or contact our team to get more help. 

Our friends at The 3 Million have produced a comprehensive report (August 2021) to the Independent Monitoring Authority, looking at the current position for EU citizens.   

euss@diversityvoice.org.uk

OISC
OISC: What's this?
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

It's illegal to give immigration advice without being regulated.  Anyone doing so faces a heavy penalty.  Diversity Voice is regulated by the OISC, and staff who provide advice are registered as immigration advisers at Level 1 for the EUSS.  We offer support for applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme.  All our help is free and available in any language. 

We are aware that unregulated individuals are charging people for advice.  Please contact the OISC if you are aware of anyone doing this.  Find out more about the risks of using unregulated help

* Rights protected for late applicants *

On August 6 2021, the government announced that they would protect the rights of late applicants pending the outcome of a decison.   Anyone who has made a late application after June 30 meets the criteria, and we assume those who may have applied before with pending cases may be eligible.  In practice, evidence of application protects rights immediately, rather than having to wait for the outcome of that application. The announcement that 'rights will be protected' pending the outcome of a late application  confers rights to work, use NHS services, rent and apply for benefits.  The editorial here explains this further, and we'll update as soon as we have more info.   There's more here in the response from Kevin Foster, MP, Minister for Future Borders and Immigration. 

euss after july 1

View an at-a glance guide on the effects of the application deadline

At-a-glance
Changes after June 30

The download shows an overview of the current position. It was prepared based on publicly available information and is not legal advice. Immigration law is complex, and there may be exceptions to the guidance. The chart doesn't apply to everyone.  We're trying hard to keep everything up to date, but you should be aware that changes are being made frequently. 

The table reflects the announcement on August 6 2021 that the rights of late applicants to the scheme will be protected.  The wording indicates that this will apply to renting, work, hospital services and benefits.  We'll update as soon as we have more on this. 

settled vs pre-settled status euss

Settled and Pre-settled Status

The difference between Settled and
Pre-settled Status

Remember that Pre-settled Status expires. This will affect all rights.  Status holders may be able to convert Pre-settled to Settled Status after 5 years, as long as they have maintained continuous residency. 
Note there is a current legal case which may affect some holders of Pre-Settled status applying for benefits.  Find out more about the background to the legal case.

Employers should record the date of expiry of Pre-settled Status to ensure they can meet their responsibilities for carrying out right to work checks. 

FAQs

This isn't legal advice. 

We've collected publicly available info and put it into one place to make things easier for you to find out about the implications of the new immigration system.  The guidance is focused on citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland who now have, or are eligible for, status under the EUSS.  There is general guidance for businesses and landlords.   Unless they're joining a family member with rights, most people coming to live in the UK after December 31 2020 will be using the new points based system and some rules may be different for them.  

Some of our staff are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner at Level 1, to deliver advice and support for applicants to the EUSS.  We aren't regulated to deal with other immigration matters, nor certain EUSS matters.  You can find a full list of regulated advisers, including legal advisers at higher levels on the link. 

We'll do our best to keep this page up to date, but you should note that the regulations may change.  We suggest you follow links provided to check for the current situation.  If you think we've missed something, or spot an error, we'd be grateful if you could drop us a line at euss@diversityvoice.org.uk. 

This page was last updated on 6 July 2021

EUSS PERSONAL Q & A

If you have been told you have Pre-settled or Settled status, your evidence is digital.  This means you need to get your 'share code'. 

To get your share code, go to www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status

You will need to enter some information, and you will then be given a share code.  Give this to your employer, landlord or whoever else needs it.   You need to do this when you are together, as they will need to check your photograph.

You might be able to apply late.  Most people must have arrived before January 1 2021, meet certain criteria and have a good reason for applying late. 
Go here to do this https://apply-to-visit-or-stay-in-the-uk.homeoffice.gov.uk/euss 

If you need help, contact us on 0300 075 0105, or euss@diversityvoice.org.uk    We speak your language! 


UKGov information on late applications - a summary can be found on this link. 

Most people who apply to the EUSS must have arrived in the UK before January 1 2021 and meet certain criteria.  Immigration law is quite complicated, so you should always check if you are not sure what to write on your late application.  We can help you.  When you apply, you will need to prove your identity first.  The link tells you what to do.  https://apply-to-visit-or-stay-in-the-uk.homeoffice.gov.uk/euss

Most people will need to give a good reason for applying late.  You might get asked to explain this more, or to send evidence.  There is no official list of reasons why late applications might be accepted, though some people, like children, will always be able to apply late.  The Home Office makes the decision, and they might change how flexible they are about reasons for late applications.  

If you didn't apply before June 30 2021, and you have a good reason for not doing so, we suggest you apply as soon as possible.  Here is the guidance from the Home Office.  Some applications are more likely to have a positive result than others.

Children:
If a parent, guardian or local authority has not applied in time for someone who was under 18 on June 30, there is no need to provide evidence of the reasons for a late application. 

Physical or mental capacity:   
This means people who have physical or mental problems which mean that they could not apply.  It also includes people who have some other care needs, and people in care homes.  The Home Office will be flexible about these late applications but you will need evidence.  A friend, carer or someone else can apply for these people.  You can also contact our immigration advice team for help. 

The kind of evidence needed might be a letter from a care home, or medical evidence.  If a friend or someone else applies for the person, you need to send evidence of their authority to make the application. 
 
Serious medical condition or significant medical treatment:
If you had a serious medical condition or medical treatment around the time of the deadline, this might let you apply late.  This probably includes pregnancy.  You will need to send evidence, like a letter from a GP, or a medical report.  

Victim of modern slavery:
This is about people who are forced to work when they don't want to, where someone else makes money out of it.  The people might have been trafficked. 

If someone is the victim of modern slavery, they can apply late.  If they have a decision made by an organisation called a  Single Competent Authority under the National Referral Mechanism, no other evidence is needed.  If not, they need to be referred to the  Home Office safeguarding team for advice on referral to the National Referral Mechanism.

Abusive relationships:

Someone in an abusive or controlling relationship might be stopped from applying by the other person, for lots of reasons. They may be able to apply late.  If someone was a victim of domestic violence or abuse (or the family member of the victim), they will be treated sympathetically.  It is unlikely that they will need to send any evidence, and lots of different information will be considered. 

Other practical or compassionate reasons:
There may be other reasons why someone has not applied in time.  These might include:
- they did not know they needed to apply because they don't use the Internet
- they can't read and write, or understand English
- they are homeless, so did not have access to a computer
- they could not get documents because of the pandemic restrictions
- they were in prison or immigration detention and came out after the deadline

We don't know which reasons the Home Office will accept.  You should be honest when you apply, and clear about your reasons.   It is likely that you will be asked for evidence.  This might be a letter from a carer or care home, a statement from someone who knows you or a statement from a charity which supported you.  There are other kinds of evidence you can give. 

We don't know whether saying "I didn't know I had to apply" will be a good enough reason.  The Home Office makes the decision.  We hope that they will be sympathetic about the kinds of reasons above, but we don't know.  You should make your application as strong as possible. 

Ceasing to be exempt from immigration control:

Some people don't have to have immigration status, such as diplomats.  If their status changes after June 30, they have 90 days to make an application from when they stop being exempt from immigration control. 

Existing limited or indefinite leave to enter or remain:
Not everyone has the same kind of permissions or visas.  If someone has limited leave to remain, and if this ends they can apply late to the EUSS at any time, if they are eligible.  People with indefinite leave to remain don't have to apply to the EUSS but they can if they want to, for example if they get extra rights by have Settled Status.   These people can apply late as long as they can show reasonable grounds for applying late, for example one of the reasons above. 

Document of status under EEA regulations: Someone who holds a residence document issued under the EEA Regulations which expires after June 30 may not realise that they must apply for leave to remain under the EUSS, and this may be considered reasonable grounds for making a late application.

For either, you must have been resident in the UK before 11.59pm on December 31 2021.  
Settled status may be offered to you if you can show they were resident in the UK for 5 years. 
Pre-settled status may be offered to you if you were resident for less than 5 years. 

Pre-settled status will stop if it isn't changed to Settled status when it ends.  You need to apply for Settled status after, if you still meet the criteria.   Status may  be lost if you leave the UK; the length of time is different for Settled and Pre-settled status.

Have a look at our graphic (above) for a quick overview of the differences. 

There is more information about the difference here: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/what-settled-and-presettled-status-means

Note that there is a current legal case which may affect some holders of/applicants for Pre-Settled Status. 

It depends on whether you have applied to the EUSS, and when you arrived in the UK.  

Anyone can get help from a GP, even if they are a visitor.  But getting help from a hospital or from community care if more complicated.   

If you have applied in time, and have a decision in time, or are waiting for a decision, you will be able to access care. However, if your application is refused, you will have to repay the cost of any care you have received in hospital, and for some other services. 

You can download some guidance, or contact our advisers if you need help. 

Generally, no.  If you arrived before January 1 and were eligible to apply to the EUSS you may be able to apply late.  There are exceptions though, and you will need to show good reason for applying late. 

Immigration control will give you 28 days to apply if you come to their attention, and if your application is successful you will not have to leave the country.  If you are given 28 days to apply, we strongly suggest you do this.  If you don't it might be very hard for you to show you have a good reason why you didn't apply. 

Probably.  Immigration law is very complicated.  Do you have indefinite leave to remain?  

If you have indefinite leave to enter (ILE) or indefinite leave to remain (ILR), you do not need Settled or Pre-settled Status to continue living in the UK. This means you did not need to apply to the scheme in the first place, but you can choose to apply.

If you have ILE or ILR, and you successfully apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll get indefinite leave to enter or remain under the EU Settlement Scheme -   settled status. You will not have to prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence.  This means you can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man without losing your settled status, instead of 2 years with the ILE or ILR you have now.  If you’re a Swiss citizen, you and your family members can spend up to 4 years in a row outside the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man without losing your settled status. Your family members do not have to be Swiss citizens.

If you did not know you could apply to the scheme while having ILE or ILR, this counts as ‘reasonable grounds’ for not applying by the deadline.  If you want to apply, we suggest you do this as soon as possible. 

If you moved to the UK before it joined the EU on 1 January 1973
You may have been given ILR automatically if you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein and you lived in the UK before 1973. If you were, you do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to stay in the UK, but you can choose to apply.

If you do not have a document confirming your ILR status, you can either:

- apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to get settled or pre-settled status
- apply to the Windrush scheme to get proof of your ILR status

If you’re from Malta or Cyprus, you could also apply for British citizenship through the Windrush scheme.

Applications for either scheme are free of charge.

https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/if-you-have-permanent-residence-or-indefinite-leave-to-remain

 If you're an EEA/Swiss citizen, and have applied to the EUSS your status is proven electronically.  You will need to get a 'share code' if you are asked to prove your status.  
https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status

If you arrived in the UK after December 31 2020, you will probably have a visa granted under the new points based system. 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-information-for-eu-citizens

If you have lived in the UK for a long time, you may have other documents, such as a indefinite leave to enter/remain. 

The following documents are no longer valid. 
- A blue Permanent Residence document  
- A blue Residence Certificate
- EEA residence cards/biomentric cards.  You can still use these until they expire for some purposes.   Find out more about this: 
www.gov.uk/uk-residence-card


It depends on your status.

If you have Settled status, you mostly have the same rights as UK citizens.

For Pre-settled status, you need to pass the 'habitual residency' test.  To do this, you need to show you are employed and have been living here for a certain amount of time.  You can find out if you qualify here: 
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/claiming-benefits-if-youre-from-the-EU/before-you-apply/check-if-you-can-pass-the-habitual-residence-test-for-benefits/ 

The rules are different for different kinds of benefits. 

However, there is an important court case happening, which might change things for people with Pre-settled status.  You can find out more about this here: 

https://cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/files/resource/Fratila-advice-for-claimants-08-03-21_0.pdf 


For more information about the difference between Pre-Settled and Settled status, download our info sheet above. 

EUSS BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY Q & A
Collated guidance only: not advice

Here are the most asked-for links.  

Prove someone’s right to work:  www.gov.uk/check-job-applicant-right-to-work

Proving your right to work (citizen): www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status

EUSS for employers overview : www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-employer-toolkit  and www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-introduction-for-employers
 
Diversity Voice:
euss@diversityvoice.org.uk
Facebook www.facebook.com/diversityvoice
Twitter www.twitter,com/diversity_voice

New points based immigration scheme: www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-points-based-immigration-system-employer-information/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-an-introduction-for-employers 

Get information about employing someone from outisde the UK (including EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens)  www.gov.uk/guidance/recruiting-people-from-outside-the-uk

No, if they were hired by you before June 30, unless you have reason to believe they do not have status.  You should have correctly checked their right to work when you hired them. 

Checking Status
There is no obligation for you to check the status of employees, as long as you  completed right to work check on EEA/Swiss staff properly when you hired them.  You almost certainly have a statutory excuse if it emerges that someone does not have status (as long as you completed the appropriate checks when you hired them), but we encourage you to get legal advice if you are unsure.  If you become aware that an employee does not have status, you need to take action. 

You need to get a share code from new hires from July 1 2021.   However, see under: Late Applicants.

If you want to, you can audit staff after the June 30 deadline, but take care not to discriminate and ensure you take action if you discover someone does not have status. 

Late Applicants
On August 6, the government announced that they would protect the rights of late applicants pending the outcome of their status. 

Employers must  use the Home Office checking service to verify that someone has made a late application. 
https://www.gov.uk/employee-immigration-employment-status



Discovering that someone does not have status.
Current guidance says that "You could face a civil penalty if you employ an illegal worker and have not carried out a correct right to work check" and " You will not need to make retrospective checks for existing employees".

If you have chosen to carry out retrospective checks or an internal audit and have identified an EEA/Swiss citizen in your workforce who has not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme and does not hold any other form of leave in the UK, you may not need to terminate their employment. However, there are steps you will need to take in these circumstances, as outlined in the guidance.

In such circumstances, employers should:

1 – Advise the employee that they must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme within 28 days and provide you with a Certificate of Application (CoA). If they do not make an application within 28 days, you must take steps to cease their employment in line with right to work legislation.

2 – Once you have received the CoA, you must contact the Home Office Employer Checking Service (ECS) to confirm the employee has applied. When contacting the ECS, you may be asked to provide evidence of the start date of the individual’s employment.

3 – Where an application has been made, the ECS will provide you with a Positive Verification Notice (PVN). Retaining this PVN and a copy of the employee’s CoA will protect you against a civil penalty for six months. During this time, the individual may maintain their employment with you whilst their application is being concluded.

4 – Before the PVN expires, you must complete a follow-up check with the ECS in order to maintain your statutory excuse against a civil penalty. If the employee has been granted status before the PVN expires, they can prove their right to work by using the Home Office right to work online service.

5 – If the follow-up check confirms that the application is pending, you will be provided with a further PVN for six months and would then need to repeat step 4 until such time as the application has been finally decided. If the follow-up check confirms the application has been refused, you must take steps to cease the individual’s employment.

6 – Employers are advised to record and maintain accurate records of checks and actions taken.

The full updated guidance (June 18) on RtW checks is at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/994996/Employer_right_to_work_checks_supporting_guidance.pdf

P45 provides the relevant information; note the date of December 31 2021 which applies to transitional measures.  

For either, an applicant must have been resident in the UK before 11.59pm on December 31 2021.

Settled status may be offered to applicants who can show they were resident in the UK for 5 years.
Pre-settled status may be offered to applicants who were resident for less than 5 years.

Both confer similar rights. However, Pre-settled Status will lapse if it isn't converted to Settled Status at the end of the term.   It may also be lost if the holder fails to meet ongoing residency requirements, which are different for each Status.  Check our at-a-glance guide for an overview, and note that there is currently a legal case regarding some who have Pre-Settled Status and means tested benefits. (A decision is expected to be made on July 15 2021)

It's worth remembering that as at some point in the future, employees with lapsed Pre-settled Status may not have the right to work when their status expires. It's a good idea to keep a record of expiry dates, as continuing to employ people whose status has expired is likely to be illegal. 

The UKGov guidance and other links on this page provide most of the information you need.  However, we are happy to answer questions and provide advice where we are allowed to.  Diversity Voice advisers are regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner at Level 1 (EUSS).  You may need to get higher status immigration advice for some queries and we are unable to advise you if you discover that an employee does not have a right to work. 

We may be able to offer translated materials, if communicating with staff is an issue for you. 

You don't need to do anything immediately about your existing EEA/Swiss tenants. However, you should act if you become aware of tenants without the right to rent. 

From 1 July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens need to prove their rights in the UK, including their
right to rent, either using the online checking service or with a physical immigration document.

You may find the Landlord's Toolkit helpful. This toolkit contains information on how you can support eligible EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme following the 30 June 2021 application deadline.

www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-landlords-toolkit

Check someone's right to rent here: www.gov.uk/view-right-to-rent .  You'll need their date of birth and share code. 

If your tenant does no have an e-visa, you may be able to check their rights in another way.  Here's where you find that info https://www.gov.uk/landlord-immigration-check

UKGov has produced a factsheet which outlines the steps you now need to take
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-checks-from-july-2021-important-information-for-landlords

The full guidance is here: 
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/999767/2021.04.28_Landlords_guide_to_right_to_rent_checks_updated__2_.pdf

You will need to check the right to work status of new employees in a new way, by asking for their share code. 

Your clients' rights are likely to be affected if they have not applied to the EUSS.  Those who have not applied will have lost their right to live and work in the UK, and use NHS secondary care and other services.  This could affect how you advise them. There is the possibility of making a late application to the EUSS, if the applicant can show good reason (see the personal Q and A above). 

There's a toolkit for community groups which provides an overview.  Do give us a call if you're not sure of anything.  We are always happy to help our friends in the voluntary sector. 

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