Are You An EU Citizen?

A raft of changes to the UK’s immigration rules since the country’s departure from the EU has had tough implications for EU citizens living in the UK. However, we can help EU citizens to gain eligibility for a UK visa under Appendix EU.

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Settle In the UK Under Appendix EU

The UK has added Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules as part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. All EEA citizens and Swiss nationals and their UK-based family members lacking British citizenship or indefinite leave to remain must renew their immigration status by applying for either ‘settled status’ or ‘pre-settled status’.

Our UK immigration law firm is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and has more than 25 years’ experience in the UK immigration sector. This experience includes reviewing and revising applications for Appendix EU – enabling our London-based legal experts to advise our clients on various aspects of preparing an Appendix EU application.

We can help you to choose exactly the right platform to use for your application’s submission, as well as guide you on which documents should be included in this application to ensure its ultimate success. Whether you are eligible for settled or pre-settled status, we can assist you in demonstrating that you meet the relevant criteria for continued UK residency. For more information on this, please call 0208 215 0053.

How can you assist me in settling in the UK under Appendix EU?

Our EU law solicitors have a dynamic and progressive mindset, and we project manage all of our clients’ cases. As a result, you can be confident of a successful outcome when you place your faith in our first-class servicefor clients preparing to make Appendix EU applications.

You can contact us for free advice about Appendix EUor to learn about our fixed-fee immigration services, whereby we can act as your legal representative as you pursue settled or pre-settled status.

You can trust us with undertaking all of the work on your application as you wait for a decision from the Home Office. The casework our long residence solicitors can carry out for you include:

  • Assessing the strength and weaknesses of your Appendix EU eligibility
  • Letting you know what documents should be included in your application
  • Assessing your documents to verify their compliance with the Immigration Rules
  • Preparing a detailed cover letter to further strengthen your application
  • Liaising with the Home Office to help you receive a timely decision

With our vast experience in working around the challenges and pitfalls of UK immigration law, we can answer all of your questions clearly and precisely – and assist you in securing your long-term future as a UK resident.

What is a Visa under Appendix EU?

If you are a non-EEA national living outside the UK but have family members who are EEA nationals and living in the UK, you can apply to join these family members in the country. If your application is successful, you will be granted an entry clearance visa valid for a six-month period.

We can help you to prepare and submit your application, which must include proof of your identity and nationality. You would also be required to provide your biometric data. However, to be eligible for the above-mentioned entry clearance visa, you must be:

  • A non-EEA citizen
  • A family member of a relevant EEA citizen
  • Intending to accompany your EEA-national family member or join them in the UK

If you do succeed in obtaining the visa, it will be issued in the form of an Appendix EU Family Permit. However, this visa could still be revoked if you, the applicant, become subject to an exclusion order, an exclusion decision or an Islands exclusion decision.

Do the EEA Immigration Regulations still apply?

Since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, EU law has not applied to the UK. Nonetheless, due to a number of Statutory Instruments, some aspects of the EEA Immigration Regulations remain valid for certain individuals.

While any EEA national and any family member of theirs remains entitled to legally take up residence in the UK provided that they are classed as a ‘relevant person’, a family member who meets this definition must now hold a valid passport and one of the following issued by the UK:

  • A valid EEA family permit
  • A residence card
  • A derivative residence card
  • A permanent residence card

Before the transition period elapsed, an immigration officer could, at the border, allow someone without one of these documents to prove their right to admission. However, it is now crucial for a family member of an EEA national to have obtained the relevant document in advance.

To learn more about these issues and our wider service, please call 0208 215 0053.

Can I apply under the EU Settlement Scheme?

For most eligible people, the deadline for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021. However, if you already hold pre-settled status, you remain able to apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) before your pre-settled status expires.

There are various other circumstances where you would still be able to apply under the EUSS. These include if you:

  • Have ‘reasonable grounds’ for not having applied by 30 June 2021
  • Are applying for your child, and they were born or adopted in the UK on 1 April 2021 or later
  • Are exempt from immigration control, or stopped being so after 30 June 2021
  • Are the family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein who was living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020

This is not an exhaustive list; the GOV.UK website has a detailed rundown of criteria you would need to satisfy to be able to apply under the EUSS. 

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What documents do I need for a Visa under Appendix EU?

An Appendix EU application must include these documents:

  • Proof of your identity and nationality as an EEA national or family member – like a valid passport, national identity card or biometric residence permit
  • Proof of your residence in the UK since before 31 December 2020

You will also need to provide your national insurance (NI) number, as this will confirm how long you have lived in the UK.

If you are unable to provide your NI number, or your NI record has gaps, your application must include alternative documentation proving how long you have lived in the UK. You only need to document that you were resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020.

If you are not a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will also require documentation verifying your relationship to a UK-based family member holding settled or pre-settled status.

Has Brexit affected Visas under Appendix EU?

Since 1 January 2021, the UK has had a points-based immigration system requiring people from outside the country to meet specific requirements before they can work or study in the country.

Currently, EU citizens can visit the UK for up to six months without a visa. Meanwhile, Irish citizens are able to continue freely entering, living and working in the UK without a visa.

However, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens must obtain a visa before they can live, study or work in the UK. In many cases, these citizens would need to be granted a Skilled Worker visa before coming to the UK. To be eligible for this visa, it would be essential that:

  • You have a job offer from an employer capable of sponsoring your visa application
  • The job offer is at the appropriate skill and salary level
  • You can speak English to the required standard

Alternatively, you could consider applying for an Intra-company visa or a family visa – and our solicitors can talk you through any visa option available to you.

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Contact our Immigration Solicitors In London on 0208 215 0053 or
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Appendix EU FAQ's

1. What is the difference between Pre-Settled and Settled Status?

These are two different forms of immigration status for which UK-resident EU citizens can apply under Appendix EU. However, which of these statuses any given one of these citizens is eligible for would depend on how long they have lived continuously in the UK.

Affected persons who have done so for over five years can apply for settled status, while those who haven’t would instead only be able to apply for pre-settled status. In this context, the word ‘continuously’ usually means not having been absent from the UK for over six months at a time.

However, you could remain entitled to settled status if, while a UK resident, you were absent for up to 12 months for an important reason – like pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training. Another exemption would be if you undertook compulsory military service outside the UK for any period exceeding six months.

If you have a UK-based family member with pre-settled or settled status, there are various scenarios where, under the EU Settlement Scheme, you would be able to apply to join your family member in the UK. However, this would only be possible if you have at least one of the following:

  • An EEA or EU Settlement Scheme family permit, for which you would need to apply within three months of your arrival in the UK
  • A residence card
  • A valid visa – such as a work, study or family visa

You will not have any of these documents if you only arrived in the UK as a visitor. If you are unable to apply as a joining family member, you will be unable to apply to the EUSS in any capacity.

Therefore, living in the UK would require you to obtain a work, study or family visa. Please make an enquiry with our immigration lawyers to determine whether you are eligible for any of these types of visa.

While visiting the UK, EU citizens can participate in various activities – including tourism, short-term study and business-related activities like attending job interviews, events and conferences. However, if you are ineligible to work or study in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme, the next best option would be applying for a visa through the points-based immigration system.

Our solicitors can guide you through this application process, the length of which will depend on the type of visa you seek.

We can advise and guide you on the eligibility criteria for various types of visa – including work visas like the Skilled Worker visa, the Health and Care visa and the Global Talent Visa. If you intend to live only temporarily in the UK to study there, you could consider the Student Visa or the Graduate visa.

Typically, once you have gained settled or pre-settled status in the UK, you would not be able to apply on behalf of family members for them to gain, under the EUSS, settled or pre-settled status.

If you have family members who would like to join you in the UK, they are likely to need to make their own Appendix EU application. However, there are various exceptions – such as if you have a child who was born or adopted in the UK on 1 April 2021 or later.

If you have children who are EU citizens but do not currently live in the UK, you can sponsor them – provided that they are aged under 21 – in order for them to be granted the same UKimmigration status as you.

No. So, for example, if you hold settled status and have children who are EU citizens and aged less than 21, you can obtain settled status for them even if, at the time, they do not reside in the UK.

Nonetheless, there is one particularly notable complication to heed if your children are EU citizens, aged under 21 and living outside the UK but you hold pre-settled, rather than settled, status when applying to bestow your own UK immigration status on these children.

Once they do gain pre-settled status in this way, they would not be immediately eligible for settled status, as they would not be considered to have been ‘continuously’ resident in the UK for at least the last five years.

No, as Irish citizens’ rights to continue residing in the UK are protected under the UK-Ireland Common Travel Area arrangements.

Hence, Irish citizens are not required to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. However, if you need to sponsor a family member for settled status, obtaining settled status for yourself beforehand would make the application process easier.

Nonetheless, it bears emphasis that this refers specifically to the application process for sponsoring a family member for settled status rather than obtaining it for them. If they are an EU citizen, they will need to make their own application for settled status under the EUSS. For more information on this, please call 0208 215 0053.

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