Brexit is now just around the corner, and all EU citizens wishing to stay in the United Kingdom need to let the country know. To achieve that, the Government has set in place a settlement scheme for EU citizens and their families.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, The Labour and Co-operative MP for Kemptown and Peacehaven, wants to reassure all EU citizens in his constituency.
He says: “I would encourage people to apply in good time, though I don’t think the rules should exist because they have every right to be here.
“It is important that people do apply no matter how long they have been here. I think the government treatment of EU citizens already here is disgusting.”
The scheme will be fully open by the end of March 2019, but people can already apply now. Information can be found online on the Government’s website, but there is a lot of it and it can be difficult to navigate.
That is why here at Brighton Journal we have done the research for you, and we are going to answer some of the most common questions in a condensed version.
What is the settlement scheme and why should EU citizens apply for it?
The settlement scheme is proof of residence in the United Kingdom without a time restriction. EU citizens should apply in order to continue to access healthcare, study and work in the country.
Who should apply?
You can apply if you are a EU resident (excluding Ireland) or if you have a relationship with a EU citizen. Non-British citizens born in the UK are also eligible to apply. However you should not be eligible to apply if you are married to a British citizen but you are not from the EU.
How do you apply?
To apply, you will have to fill a form by proving your identity, your residence in the UK, and your relationship to a EU member if you are from outside the EU.
What could happen if EU residents failed to apply before the deadline?
There is hardly any information available on this subject for now. It is possible that EU citizens wishing to stay in the UK after the deadline will have to apply for a Visa or similar documentation to live and work legally.
What’s the difference between settled and pre-settled status?
EU citizens will either apply for a settled or pre-settled status depending on how long they have been living in the UK. You will apply to the former if you have lived for at least five consecutive years in the UK (with some exceptions). If you have been here for under five years, you will be given the latter, and after the five year mark you will need the claim settled status.
Is the application online only? Can people apply in person in Brighton?
The short answer is no (for now). You can apply via post or online (but not on iPhones, although that should hopefully change once the scheme is fully open). There is phone or in-person assistance, although Brighton is not listed as a location on the Government’s website. That will hopefully change after March 2019.
This is not a comprehensive article. You can find more information on the Government’s website.