If you have settled in Sefton from another EU country
Then you may need to apply for settled status in the UK. Most EU citizens have not previously needed to interact with EU law as their passports or ID cards have been enough to evidence their rights. This will change once the UK leaves the EU as EU free movement law will cease to apply. It is important that EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in Sefton feel reassured about their future, and are not left with an insecure immigration status in the future.
The government has set up the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) which EU, EEA or Swiss citizens need to apply to, to retain the rights that they currently have after the UK leaves the EU. Some individuals who are not from the EU may also be able to apply, for example if they are a family member of an EU citizen, and are dependent on their EU rights. They have until 31 December 2020 to apply to the EUSS if the UK leaves without a deal, and until 30 June 2021 if a deal is agreed. The Home Office has said that individuals may be able to apply after this date if they have a good reason why they didn’t apply on time.
If applicants are successful they will be given settled or pre-settled status, which means they will be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021. An individual should get settled status if they can evidence that they have lived in the UK for a continuous 5 year period and pre-settled status if they do not have 5 years’ continuous residency when they apply.
It is free to apply for settled and pre-settled status, and the majority of people will not need to pay a solicitor or advisor to make their application.
The EUSS checks three things: proof of identity, proof of residency and criminal record. Most people will be able to apply using the government’s online form and EU settlement scheme’s app. Individuals can check their personal situation by using GOV.UK’s online tool. Individuals who apply successfully will be able to check and prove their status using an online service. They will not receive a document or card that they can use to prove their status.
The process is different if an individual has a permanent residence document or indefinite leave to enter or remain. Some individuals who have lived in the UK since before 1988 may be able to apply to the Windrush scheme to get new documents.
The government have included elderly people to their list of vulnerable groups because of the challenges and barriers they may face when applying to the EUSS. Some cases may be more complex than others; and it is important to remember that some individuals who need to apply to the EUSS may not identify as an EU national or currently be with their EU family member (for example if the EU family member has died or they are divorced).
Services offering support to EU citizens applying to the EUSS are:
To access support visit their drop in services-
- Bootle Library, 220 Stanley Rd, Bootle L20 3EN: Mondays 10-1pm (every 2 weeks, next session being the 16th September)
- Southport Library, 112 Lord St, Southport PR8 1DJ: Wednesdays 1:30-4:30pm (every 2 weeks, next session being the 11th September)
Information sessions and free assistance on applying to the EU Settlement Scheme from OISC EUSS Level 1 accredited volunteers (Settled Angels). Cases that are more complex will be referred to Here for Good
To access support (or to volunteer):
- Email email@example.com