Are you an EU citizen currently living in the UK ? Are you the partner, spouse, parent, child or close relative of an EU citizen living in the UK ? Have you applied for EU Settled Status ?
Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre (KCALC) wants to warn people that time is running out to make these applications. The UK has left the EU but in the current transition period nothing has changed regarding the rights of EU citizens. Any EU citizen can currently come to the UK and live and work without restriction. That transition period ends on 31 December 2020 and after that date any EU citizen coming to the UK will only be able to visit for short periods unless they have obtained a visa. EU citizens living in the UK without a visa or settled status after that date will be here unlawfully and possibly subject to removal by the authorities.
All EU/EAA or Swiss citizens who have lived for any period of time in the UK by 31 December this year are eligible to apply for EU Settled Status. In addition, their children, long-term partners, spouses, parents, dependents and other close relatives will also be able to apply for status even if they are not EU citizens themselves. Irish citizens don’t need to apply to this scheme although they can if they want. You must apply for settled status even if you already have a Permanent Residence card because that will no longer be valid.
The application is relatively simple, free of charge and is done online. Depending on how long you have been in the UK you will be entitled to settled status or pre-settled status. Those with pre-settled status can later apply for settled status and those with settled status can later apply for British citizenship if they want. There are different rights depending on which status you have but both will allow you to continue to live in the UK. Once you have your status your close family members can then apply. You have until 30 June 2021 to apply but you will find that if you cannot prove your status after the end of 2020 that you may have problems in obtaining work, health care or housing.
Although the application is intended to be simple you may need some assistance. You will need a valid ID, Proof of residency in the UK and details of any criminal convictions. KCALC can offer free help to people who have particular difficulties in making an application or who don’t have the documents they need. See our website on www.kcalc.org.uk for details of the service we provide or call 0344 848 7970 for a referral to our specialist team.
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