EU Nationals

The Situation for Relatives of EU Nationals Post-Brexit

By Amer Zaman

on May 24, 2022

Read Time: 10 Minutes

Where do the family members of EU nationals stand after Brexit?

Our immigration solicitors can understand why so many European Union (EU) nationals may be worrying about the situation of their families in the UK, or about what challenges may face them if they wish to accompany their loved ones in the UK.

The term “Brexit” can sound extremely daunting if you don’t have any context behind what it means. Many people fear that the UK Government intends to rip up the families of EU nationals that have been settled in the UK for years. But that simply isn’t the case.

Brexit was ‘sold’ to the public as a means of allowing the UK to regain control of its borders and to allow immigration to be regulated more effectively. Whether you were or are in favour of or against the notion of the UK leaving the EU, Brexit – in and of itself – doesn’t mean that EU nationals are going to be forced out of the country.

If you are an EU national based in the UK, you may have already applied to the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, in order to secure the necessary legal footing to allow you to stay in the UK. Indeed, for most people, the deadline to apply to this scheme was 30 June 2021.

However, if you have not yet applied to the scheme, you and your family may still be able to submit a late application, depending on certain criteria.

Cranbrook Legal is here to support you and your family with your immigration application. You may wish to apply to live in the UK with your loved ones under the Family visa category, or you might be interested in making a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Regardless, our specialists will make sure to listen to all of your requests and provide you the best advice possible. This way, you will be able to maximise your likelihood of getting the best possible outcome when you make your application. Find out more about how our immigration specialists can help by calling 0208 215 0053.

What do I need to know about Brexit?

Before we jump into how our legal team can help EU nationals, let’s start off with a brief account of what Brexit is all about. The more you know about Brexit, the more you will understand about how to make your future settlement application.

Ultimately, Brexit was the term used to define the UK’s exit from the EU. This meant that there was always likely to be major change with regard to such matters as settlement, work and trade.

In terms of immigration to the UK for foreign nationals, there have been a few changes made. These include:

  • A new points-based system has been introduced to allow for skilled workers and students to enter the UK. Other reasons for entering the UK, including family and marriage, require a visa if the stay will be for longer than six months.
  • To apply for entry clearance to the UK through the points system, you will need to prove that you speak English and that you have the means to sustain yourself. The general salary threshold for an application under this system is £25,600, or whatever the going rate is for your job. If you earn less than this – but no less than £20,480–it may still be possible for you to apply by ‘trading’ points on specific characteristics against your salary.

If you were from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, based in the UK and wishing to stay, it was crucial that you found a legal means of securing your future in the UK. For many people, the decision they made was applying to the EU Settlement Scheme – but the deadline for this, for most people, was 30 June 2021.

If you have not applied for the EU Settlement Scheme, you may have an immigration issue on your hands and you may need to see a solicitor to get it sorted. This is where Cranbrook Legal can step in to assist.

Are applications still possible to the EU Settlement Scheme?

Although the general deadline of the EU Settlement Scheme has passed, there may still be a chance that you could be approved under it to stay in the UK with your family.Generally speaking, you can only apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if you were living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

With that said, if you have not yet made the application, you may still have an application to the scheme accepted if:

  • You have had a later deadline approved by the UK Government – for instance, if you are looking to join a family member who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and you were their family member by this date.
  • You did not apply by the deadline due to “reasonable grounds”. This could have been due to medical health reasons or if you were the victim of domestic abuse.

The best way to figure out whether or not you could be eligible is to speak to your immigration law solicitor about your situation. They can let you know whether or not you will still be able to move to the UK under a “settled” or “pre-settled” status.

What other reasons can I use to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?

If you are worried about yourself and your family, and you are all EU nationals, you may be curious about what other reasons could make you eligible for a late application.

Of course, the success of your application depends entirely on your own personal circumstances and when your family arrived in the UK. Here are some additional examples of how you could be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme:

  • You are applying for your child who was adopted or born in the UK on or after 1 April 2021
  • You already had an EU-national family member living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • You are the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland, but they couldn’t move back to the UK by 31 December 2020 without you; you must be from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • You are exempt from immigration control
  • Your limited leave/right to remain expired after 30 June 2021
  • You are the family member of a British citizen who you lived with in the EU; you must have lived with them in the EU by 30 December 2020, and returned to the UK with them

If you fall into one of these categories, it is crucial that you apply for your pre-settled status or settled status as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it, the more likely it is that you will not be able to achieve acceptance through the scheme.

The EU Settlement Scheme and pre-settled status

One thing that we should mention before we move on is in relation to pre-settled status. Overall, if you have been living in the UK for less than five years, and your application to the EU Settlement Scheme has a successful outcome, you will be awarded this status.

You can only live outside of the UK for two continuous years before you lose this status. If you have pre-settled status, you will be able to switch to settled status after five years’ continuous residence, or sooner if you are eligible before five years.

What can you do if you arrived in the UK on a visa after 31 December 2020?

Unfortunately, if you arrived in the UK after 2020, you will no longer be able to use your EU settlement status as a way to stay in the country.

However, if you came on a visa, there is still a chance that you and your family will eventually be able to receive pre-settled status. First and foremost, check your visa to see if your family can live in the UK with you. If it says no, you will have to decide whether or not you want to apply for a different visa.

During this time, you will want to do the following:

  • Adhere to the terms of your visa
  • Avoid staying in the UK for longer than what has been agreed to in your application
  • Understand that you may not be protected by the same rights that you would have if you had pre-settled status
  • Try and support yourself financially until you are able to bring your family over to join you in the UK

Your solicitor will be able to give you personalised advice to ensure you can be comfortable during your time in the UK. They will also help you figure out how you can live in the UK with your family.

Family members of EU nationals: can they come to live with me?

If you are an EU national currently living in the UK, you may feel more concerned about your family’s settled status rather than your own. If you are already in the process of moving your family to the UK, you may be worried that Brexit will have an impact upon the immigration process.

Unfortunately, in this respect, you are right; there will be an impact on which of your family members will be able to apply. Not only will they need to provide evidence that they are related to you, but their age and actual relation to you may affect their status. Here are some examples:

  • Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces: unable to apply unless they have a family permit or residence card. Then, they might be able to make a late application.
  • Parents and grandparents: they will be able to apply for a family permit or go under the EU Settlement Scheme. They will need to prove that they are related to you. You may also need to prove that they are dependent on you for support.
  • Partners and spouses: if you have lived together in the longterm, your partner will be able to apply. However, you will need to prove that you have been together for more than two years or that you have a child. You can also prove that you are married through joint bank accounts, agreements, and bills.
  • Children under 21 years old: they will be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme and can apply for a family permit
  • Children over 21 years old: they will only be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme if they are dependent on you.

When your family are EU nationals, they will need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme through the “EU Exit” app. If they fail to do this, then they will need to get a family permit. Although they won’t have the same rights as someone with pre-settled and settled status, once they apply for this status, they will be able to live in the UK.

What can my family members do to live with me?

Are you worried about what to do to get your family over to the UK? Well, if they are able to make a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme, they could be with you in a very short time.

Just keep in mind that when your family member does apply, they will be required to give the name of the family member that lives in the UK. They will also need to give your pre-settled or settled application number. This can be found on your application certificate or your decision letter.

If your family member is not eligible to come to the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme, they could still come under a visa. If they do not get a visa, they will only be allowed in the UK for six months. That’s why it’s worth going for a visa, so that they can live with you for as long as possible.

Family visas for the UK

Another way that you can get your family members into the UK is through a Family visa. If your family come through a different visa, they (or you) may be able to switch visas to ensure you can stay together. This will mean that you have to pay a certain fee, whether you are inside or outside the UK:

  • Joining a partner, child or parent: inside is £1,033 and outside is £1,523
  • Adding a dependent to the application: inside is £1,033 per person and outside is £1,523
  • Fees for an adult who needs to be cared for by a relative: inside is £1,033 and outside £3,250

There may also be a need to pay for biometric information to be taken to complete the application. Once this is completed, it should take around 12 weeks to receive a decision on the visa.

Cranbrook Legal is here to help you with your family visa

It’s understandable that you may feel scared about Brexit and what is going to happen in the future. This is why we have immigration specialists ready to support you in getting your visa. They will provide solid advice that can help you move forward with your application.

Learn more by calling our immigration team on 0208 215 0053 or by using our email, We look forward to helping you soon.

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