On 20 and 21 August 2019, there were several news reports, apparently citing the new Home Secretary’s (Preeti Patel) desire to end freedom of movement, for EEA nationals and their family members, on 31 October 2019, if the UK’s departure from the EU result in a no-deal exit.
Patel added that EEA nationals already resident in the UK will still be
eligible to apply for settled status until December 2020.
This is a departure from earlier government assurances to protect the freedom of movement rights of EEA nationals until at least 31 December 2020.
The confusion about the rights of EEA nationals following a no-deal exit, has forced the Home Office to release a statement to clarify the position. The statement reads as follows:
21 August 2019
This is the latest information on the EU Settlement Scheme for EU citizens living in the UK. You are receiving this because you have requested email updates from the UK Government.
Update on the EU Settlement Scheme
There have been reports in the media and on social media regarding plans to end freedom of movement after we leave the EU, as well as what this means for EU citizens resident in the UK.
We want to reassure all EU citizens and their family members in the UK that you still have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, even in the event of a no-deal exit. Furthermore, if someone who is eligible for status is not in the UK when we leave the EU, they will still be free to enter the UK as they are now.
Those who have not yet applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by 31 October 2019 will still have the same entitlements to work, benefits and services. Those rights will not change. EU citizens will continue to be able to prove their rights to access these benefits and services in the same way as they do now.
In light of the uncertainty and proposed changes, we continue to recommend to our readers and clients to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled status or settled status. Doing so will help protect your and your family status in the UK should the UK leave the EU with a deal, or in the event of a no-deal exit.
Written by Carla Thomas – Managing Director at Thomas Chase immigration. Thomas Chase Immigration offer immigration help to individuals and families.
Call to action
immigration advice or guidance?
from outside of the of European Economic Area (EEA) may apply for an EUSS
family permit to join, or accompany, their EEA family member. We have received
a number of queries about the EUSS family permit and the difference between the
EUSS permit and the EEA family permit. So of course, we thought we would post a
blog post on the subject in case there were others seeking clarification about
this and about the requirements.
The EU Settlement Scheme
The EU Settlement
Scheme (EUSS) allows qualifying nationals to continue their residence in the
United Kingdom (UK), after the UK leaves the European Union (EU) on 31 October
2019 (also known as ‘Brexit’) and any transitional period.
Under the Scheme,
non-EEA who is not in possession of a valid biometric card, or permanent
residence card issued by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) under the Immigration
(European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, may
accompany their EEA national family member to the UK, or join them in the UK.
The EUSS family
permit operates alongside the EEA family permit.
nationals are defined under Annex
1 of Appendix EU (Family Permit), https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/appendix-eu-family-permit
and can include an EEA national
that had previously exercised their Treaty rights in the UK and later
naturalised as a British citizen under the British Nationality Act 1981. Where
the EEA national acquires British citizenship, they must retain their EEA (or
If the EEA
or Swiss family member’s nationality is cancelled, curtailed or revoked, their
rights to sponsor their family member(s), under the EUSS, will be lost.
are defined in Annex 1 of Appendix EU (Family Permit) as anyone who does not
hold EEA or British citizenship.
you are a non-EEA national, you can apply for an EUSS family permit to enter
the UK providing the following applies:
You are the close family member of an EEA or Swiss national;
the EEA national you wish to join has pre-settled
status or settled status under the EU
Settlement Scheme; and
the EEA national that you are joining is already in
the UK, or will be travelling with you to the UK within 6 months of the date of
members must satisfy UKVI of their relationship. This is crucial as we have
been approached by clients who had prepared their applications and had their
application for an EEA or EUSS family refused because UKVI had not accepted
that they were married or related to their EEA family member.
can be extremely disheartening to receive a refusal on the basis of a
relationship to an EEA or Swiss national, in part, because UKVI will not
provide a right of appeal in such cases. The problem is not that those
individuals had done the application themselves, but rather that they did not
provide satisfactory evidence to support the application.
members are defined under Annex
1 of Appendix EU (Family Permit) as:
spouse or civil partner of an EEA national in a genuine and subsisting
child of an EEA national or of their spouse or civil partner;
grandchild or great-grandchild of an EEA national or of their spouse or civil
dependent parent (or grandparent or great-grandparent) of the EEA national or
of their spouse or civil partner.
As of 9 April 2019, non-EEA
family members can also apply directly for leave under the EUSS from outside
you are the close family member of a British citizen who had exercised their
Treaty rights in another Member States before returning to the UK to live (Surinder
Singh cases), you may not apply for a EUSS family permit. Instead, you must
apply for an EEA family permit.
addition, it is advisable to apply for an EEA family permit, rather than an
EUSS family permit, if you are:
extended family member, as defined in the EEA Regulations, such as a durable
partner or dependent relative; or
person with a derivative right of residence in the UK, such as ‘Chen’; ‘Ibrahim
and Teixeira’; and ‘Zambrano’ cases; or
A family member of an EEA or Swiss national who does not
yet have settled status or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
For instance, one of our clients, Jo, recently
joined her unmarried partner in the UK after a successful application for entry
clearance. Her partner is a German national and has pre-settled status to the
EUSS. However, as Jo is deemed to be the extended family member of an EEA
national, she had to apply for an EEA family permit, rather than an EUSS family
any application for entry to the UK, it is important that you submit the required
documentation in support of your EUSS family permit application.
to be submitted include:
Your current and valid passport;
Evidence of your relationship to the EEA family member;
Evidence of your EEA family member’s identity such as a certified copy of their current and valid passport or national identity card; and
Proof of your dependency on the EEA family member, if relevant.
Evidence of your relationship to
the EEA family member. Such documents will depend on the nature of
the relationship and may include, for example:
Your marriage certificate or civil partnership
Full birth certificates; and /or
of their dependency if, for instance, the child is over 21 years of age,
help to provide additional documents such as:
Evidence of the EEA national’s employment in the UK, such as their employment contract, wage slips or a letter from an employer;
Evidence of the EEA national’s self-employment, such as contracts, invoices or audited accounts with bank statements and confirmation of paying tax and National Insurance;
Proof that the EEA national is studying in the UK, by way of a letter from the school, college or university; and/or
Evidence of financial stability.
or certified copies must be submitted supported by certified translations,
where appropriate. However, as of 16 February 2019, it is no longer a
requirement for you to provide a certified English translation for certain
public documents issued by another Member State only, as per Regulation (EU)
(EU) 2016/1191 does not apply to documents issued by public bodies in non-Member
family permit applications do not carry a fee. Nor do they attract the
Immigration Health Surcharge. Yet, the fact that the applications are free to
make, does not mean that the application should be taken any less seriously
than any other application for entry into the UK.
family permits can be submitted at any overseas location and you need not be a
national or resident of the country that you would like to apply from.
EEA family permit, the EUSS family permit is valid for 6 months from the date
of the decision. During that time, you may enter the UK as many times as you wish.
expiry of the permit, or following your arrival to the UK, you may continue to
reside in the UK by applying for pre-settled status. This will prove your right
to stay in the UK, and your right to work, study and access services.
A non EEA
family member may apply for a EUSS family permit to accompany or join their EEA
national family member in the UK. There are some key differences between the
EUSS family permit and EEA family permit, though the EUSS family permit has
by Carla Thomas – Managing Director at Thomas Chase immigration.
you still have questions or concerns or you would like straightforward
immigration advice or assistance with your application to the EU Settlement
Scheme or for an EEA family permit, then feel free to contact us.