Significant changes to EU settlement scheme take effect

The latest changes to the UK’s immigration rules include some important amendments to the EU Settlement Scheme which will be of interest to employers of EU nationals and their families.

The key changes are as follows:

  • People with "pre-settled status" under the EU Settlement Scheme will automatically have their leave extended by two years, without the need for them to make an application. The Home Office will attempt to grant them settled status automatically after five years of continuous residence in the UK if its own records show that the requirements are met.
  • There will be changes to the way that late applications under the Scheme are processed. This may mean a delay in issuing a Certificate of Application, which is required in order to demonstrate eligibility to work and access services in the UK.
  • The Scheme has been closed to some relatively small groups of new applicants, including applications from family members accompanying a returning British family member to the UK after exercising free movement rights and to primary carers of British citizens.

These changes all apply from 9 August 2023

The most wide-reaching change is likely to be the automated extension of applications for pre-settled status. It is just over two years since the deadline for applications under the Scheme for EU nationals resident in the UK at the end of the Brexit transitional period, so there are likely to be many EU nationals currently working in the UK who will benefit from this administrative simplification.

Please contact Alex Russel if you need any advice about how these changes – or any other aspects of immigration law - could affect your organisation.

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