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This is an important Brexit-related alert for European, EEA and Swiss nationals and those who hold immigration status as the non-European family members of such nationals. It is vital that you read this communication carefully.
Freedom of movement rights for EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals (and their non-European family members) will end on 31 December 2020 (the end of the Brexit transition period).
We would like to remind you that the UK Government has put in place a system for these nationals and their family members to secure their right of residence in the UK. The system is called the "EU Settlement Scheme" or ‘EUSS’.
If you are based in the UK prior to 1st January 2021, you will retain the right to be able to live and work here but will need to apply to the EUSS to demonstrate these rights.
“Pre-settled” or “settled” will be given to eligible applicants and will provide them with evidence that they resided in the UK prior to the end of the Brexit transition period and have a right to live and work in the UK. Those with settled status may also be eligible to apply for British citizenship.
EU nationals who already hold evidence of their status, for example a registration certificate or permanent residence card, also need to make an application under the EU settlement scheme to convert their status.
Eligible employees have until the 30 June 2021 to apply under the EUSS (although we do encourage you to apply in plenty of time due to the high number of applications currently being processed).
The repercussions of not applying for pre-settled or settled status are not entirely clear.
However, it is anticipated that EU, EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK prior to 1 January 2021 will need to evidence their EU settlement scheme status to prove their right to work in the UK in future, as well as to access public services such as the NHS and certain state benefits (if eligible), open bank accounts and enrol in educational institutions.
Therefore registration remains an important step towards you retaining the benefits afforded to you as a resident of the UK. In future, evidence of your status is likely to be important if you are, for example, changing jobs, agreeing a tenancy or opening a bank account.
The scheme is open to nationals from the EU, EEA and Switzerland and their family members.
This means that you can apply if you are a national of any of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
If you are a citizen of Britain, the Republic of Ireland, or, if you have indefinite leave to enter and/or remain in the UK then you do not have to apply.
All EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their non-European family members who reside in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 are able to apply for settled or pre-settled status.
If you have been in the UK for five years or more, you should be granted settled status. Settled status allows an individual to live and work in the UK indefinitely and will be lost only once an individual has been absent from the UK for five years.
If you have been in the UK for less than five years, you should be granted pre-settled status. This can be converted to settled status at the five-year point, provided that you have not had excessive absences from the UK during the five-year period.
The application process is straightforward. You can apply online at www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families by completing two steps:
1) Prove your identity You can verify your identity by scanning the passport and uploading a selfie to an app. You can also send the documents required to verify your identity by post or get the documents scanned in person at an application centre. See www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-assisted-digital-service/eu-settlement-scheme-assisted-digital-service for further details, including a list of locations where you can get your documents scanned.
2) Complete an application form The online form will automatically search the HM Revenue and Customs and Department for Work and Pensions databases to establish continuous residence. There will be an opportunity for you to upload further evidence of residence where there are gaps in these databases, to allow you every opportunity to establish continuous residence.
If you need additional information or support about the application process, you can contact the EU settlement resolution centre. Details are available at: www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-applicant-information.
You do not have to be in the UK to apply and can submit your application from outside the UK. You are still able to travel outside the UK while the application is in progress.
The settlement scheme will be available for individuals resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020.
The UK Government has provided a deadline for submitting an application of 30 June 2021. However, these dates may change and you should check www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families for the latest information.
It is important that you complete the necessary formalities in a timely manner and that you are aware of the support available from PayStream. Please contact our Customer Care & Accounts teams if you have any questions or concerns.