EU Citizens’ rights after the UK left the EU

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021. If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you will either be granted settled of pre-settled status. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.

Settled status

You will usually get settled status if you have:

  • started living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’)

Five years’ continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row you have been in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period. The exceptions are:

  • one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting)
  • compulsory military service of any length
  • time you spent abroad as a Crown servant, or as the family member of a Crown servant
  • time you spent abroad in the armed forces, or as the family member of someone in the armed forces

You can stay in the UK as long as you like if you get settled status. You will also be able to apply for British citizenship if you are eligible

Pre-settled status

If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply, you will usually get pre-settled status. You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

You can then apply to change this to settled status once you have got 5 years’ continuous residence. You must do this before your pre-settled status expires.

If you reach 5 years’ continuous residence at some point by 31 December 2020, you can choose to wait to apply until you reach 5 years’ continuous residence. This means that if your application is successful, you will be granted settled status without having to apply for pre-settled status first.

You can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you get pre-settled status. You will need to apply again when you are changing your pre-settled status for settled status.

We can assist with advising on the necessary requirements and with submitting the online application on your behalf. We will also advise you on your rights with settled and pre-settled status, which includes working in the UK, access NHS services for free, enrol in education, continue studying and accessing public funds. We will also advise you on your rights and obligations regarding travel outside the UK without losing your status.

At Chris Alexander Solicitors our fee for Applications under the Settlement Scheme is £300 (+ 20% VAT) for our professional immigration services.  The standard fee will cover submitting your online application including scanning of your documents as required.

The standard fee will not cover any disbursements which are incurred e.g. translation of documents, reviews or judicial reviews. If you cannot afford to pay our fee in full at the time of instructing us in relation to your application, you can pay half of the fee at the time of instructing us and the balance can be paid by monthly instalments.

You may be eligible to apply to ‘register’ as a British citizen if you were born in the UK. It depends on when you were born and your parents’ circumstances:

  • You were born on or after 1 January 1983 and may be eligible if either:
  • you are under 18 and since your birth one of your parents became a British citizen, or got permission to stay in the UK permanently you lived in the UK until you were 10 or older

You are automatically a British citizen if you were born in the UK before 1 January 1983, unless:

  • your father was a diplomat working for a non-UK country
  • your father was ‘an enemy alien in occupation’ and you were born in the Channel Islands during World War 2

Naturalisation:

Naturalisation is at the discretion of the Home Secretary. You may be able to apply for citizenship by ‘naturalisation’, depending on your situation. If you are eligible in more than one way you can choose which way to apply.

To apply as the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen you must have lived in the UK for the last 3 years.

You will also need to have one of the following:

  • indefinite leave to remain
  • settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • a permanent residence document to confirm you have permanent residence status if you do, you will be eligible to apply for citizenship immediately
  • You have indefinite leave to remain (ILR)

You can usually apply for ILR after you have lived in the UK for 5 years.

To apply for citizenship with ILR you must usually have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting it.

You have ‘permanent residence’ status

If you or a family member are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you usually get permanent residence status automatically after living in the UK for 5 years.

To apply for citizenship with permanent residence status you must usually have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting permanent residence status. You also need a permanent residence document that proves you have lived in the UK for 5 years – this can be any 5 year period.

This means that if the 5 year period was more than 12 months ago, you will be able to apply for citizenship as soon as you get your permanent residence document.

You have ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme

If you and your family member are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can apply for ‘settled status’ after you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years.

To apply for citizenship with settled status you must usually have lived in the UK for 12 months after getting it.

Settled status is also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’.

Our expert team of immigration solicitors can assist with your applications for naturalisation or registration as a British Citizen and carry out all the work on your application until decision on your application is received from the Home Office.  We will assess your eligibility by considering all the relevant information including your past immigration history.  We will also advise  you on the list of documents to be submitted in support of your application and assess all documents to ensure that they satisfy the requirements.

In support of your application, we will draft a detailed legal representation. After submitting your application and your payment of the relevant fees, we will assist with any further liaison with the Home Office until a decision is received on your application.

At Chris Alexander Solicitors our standard fee for Applications for Registration as a British citizen is £600 (+ 20% VAT) for our professional services. 

Our professional fee for Naturalisation as a British citizen is £700 (+ 20% VAT).

The standard fee will cover all our work done until a decision is reached by the Home Office on your application. The standard fee will not cover any disbursements which are incurred e.g. translation of documents, application fees, or subsequent reviews / judicial reviews. If you cannot afford to pay our fee in full at the time of instructing us in relation to your application, you can pay half of the fee at the time of instructing us and the balance can be paid by monthly instalments.