EU Settlement Scheme Pre-Settled Status

Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme gives Limited Leave to Enter or Remain in the UK to EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members. This confirms the right to live in the UK for a period of 5 years from the date the status is granted.

As a result of the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union, the EU Settlement Scheme was established to ensure that the citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, as well as their family members, that had been legally residing in the UK can continue living and working in the country after Brexit. Part of UK immigration law, this scheme grants settled and pre-settled status, allowing individuals to maintain their rights and access to public services.

Knowing which of these you may need to apply for depends on when you resided in the UK, and for how long.

Pre-settled status is for those who have been residing continuously in the UK for less than five years prior to December 31, 2020. Once granted, it will allow you to continue living, working, and accessing public services in the UK. Pre-settled status is a temporary status, typically granted for five years. After 5 continuous years or residence in the UK under this scheme, you can apply for settled status - provided you meet the eligibility requirement. 

Settled status is for those who have been residing continuously in the UK for five years or more before December 31, 2020. Settled Status is also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain, which provides you with the right to reside and work in the UK permanently. 

In this article, we will focus on applying for pre-settled status. If you need more details on the Settled Status Visa, click here.

Our lawyers at QC Immigration have extensive experience in successfully submitting Pre-Settled Status applications and will be able to guide and support you in proving eligibility, collecting, and submitting all your documents for a strong and viable case. Check out the details below to see if you meet the requirements.

Pre-Settled Status Eligibility 

The pre-settled status is designed for EEA and Swiss citizens who have been residing in the UK continuously for fewer than five years prior to 31 December 2020. While the official deadline to submit an application was 30 June 2021, there are still some exceptions to submit a Late application granted you have “good reason”, which we shall explain below.

How to obtain an EUSS Family Permit. 

Family members of eligible citizens may also apply, regardless of their nationality, as long as they can prove their relationship. Even if they began living in the UK after the cut-off date of December 31, 2020, they may still be eligible to apply so long as their relationship was established prior to this date.

Swiss citizens have an additional exception in the case of spouses or civil partners that have established their relationship between 31 December 2020 to 31 December 2025. 

Here’s an extensive list of applicable family members:

  • spouse
  • civil partner
  • unmarried partner
  • children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren under 21 years old
  • dependent children over the age of 21
  • dependent parents, grandparents, great-grandparents
  • dependent relatives

You are related to the Spouse or Civil Partner of the EEA or Swiss national as their:

  • Child, grandchild, great-grandchild (under 21 years old)
  • dependent child (over the age of 21)
  • dependent parent, grandparent, great-grandparent
  • dependent relative.

This list also applies to family members of spouses and civil partners of the EEA or Swiss national applying for pre-settled status. 

In cases where you may no longer meet the above relations, there are some circumstances which you may still qualify as a family member:

  • You are separated from your EEA or Swiss national family member
  • Your EEA or Swiss national family member has died
  • You are the family member of a British citizen who also has EEA or Swiss citizenship, and who lived in the UK as an EEA or Swiss national prior to acquiring British citizenship
  • You are the family member of a British citizen and you lived in an EEA country together (outside of the UK), via the ‘Surinder Singh’ route
  • You used to have an EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK
  • You are the primary caregiver of a British, EEA or Swiss national in the UK
  • You are the child of an EEA or Swiss national who used to live and work in the UK or you are the child’s primary caregiver 
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Late Application Exceptions for Pre-Settled Status

While the final deadline for pre-settled status was 30 June 2021, there are some exceptions and it may still be possible to apply under the scheme.

The UK understands the complexities associated with Brexit for EEA and Swiss . Therefore, it gives the further caveat that if you can show “reasonable grounds”  for why the deadline did not apply to you, you may still be eligible. 

It is important to review official UK government resources or seek legal advice to ensure you understand the specific requirements and exceptions applicable to your situation. Contact us directly with any specific questions you may have. 

How to Apply for Pre-Settled Status.

Applying for pre-settled status is simple for some, and more tedious for others. Chances are, if you’re reading this article now you’re looking at your options for a very late application.

This can be daunting, but with friendly and helpful legal support it doesn’t have to be a total headache. Here’s a quick checklist to give you a roadmap of the journey as circumstances differ broadly. 

  1. Review your eligibility
  2. Collect your documents, exactly what you need will depend on your eligibility status and circumstances, but the list will include:
  • Proof of Identity 
  • Evidence of continuous residence
  • Evidence of your eligibility 
  • Evidence of your reasonable grounds for missing the deadline
  • A criminal background history (either from the UK or overseas)
  1. Submit your documents to the Home Office, via the web and phone applications.

Once submitted, you should have an answer back from the Home Office within 6 - 8 weeks.  

Do note that the Home Office may experience administrative delays due to the volume of applications since Brexit. Therefore, it is important to ensure you present a strong application that will not cause delay to the decision-maker and that you have a good Legal Representative to follow up your progress.

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Examples of Our Successful Pre-Settled Status Cases

  • A Canadian client resided in the UK as the spouse of an EEA national who did not work in the UK and did not have a National Insurance number. We customised a document list with the to prove relationship and residence, before submitting the application with the client. As a result, he was granted Limited Leave to Remain under the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • A Russian client was previously married to an EEA national and resided in the UK as his spouse. The couple separated and our client was unable to obtain all the necessary documents from her ex-partner. We advised the client with suitable alternatives and presented strong legal arguments to the Home Office. We were quickly successful in obtaining Limited Leave to Remain under the EU Settlement Scheme.

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