Last updated: 14.08.2019
About the EU settlement scheme
In advance of the UK’s exit from the EU on the 'Exit Day', the UK government has committed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members currently living in the UK. This includes the right to live here, to study, work and access public services such as healthcare. To retain these rights beyond 31 December 2020, EU citizens and their family members must apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Further detail on the Settlement Scheme can be found on GOV.UK.
This means if you intend to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020, or, if you are undecided but want to keep your options open, then you will have between now and 31 December 2020 (or June 2021 if the UK leaves the UK with a deal) to make this application.
When does the scheme fully open?
The scheme fully opened at 7am on 30 March 2019.
From 7am on 9 April 2019, applications can be made from outside of the UK.
The application is free of charge.
What is the application process?
To apply to the EU Settlement Scheme you will need to complete an online application:
- Verify your identity - If you have a valid biometric passport or biometric residence card (issued by the Home Office), then you must use the 'EU Exit: ID Document Check' app to verify identity. This is currently only available to download on Android devices (but the Home Office is currently working with Apple and it is likely that iPhone users will have access to a similar app by the end of 2019) - an easy way to check if your device can use this app, is if your device has the technology to make contactless payments. If you cannot do not have a biometric passport or a BRP card, for example, you only have an EEA ID card, a 'permanent residence' or 'residence document' in your passport, these would be accepted as proof of identity and nationality, however, you will not be able to use the app. Instead, you will need to use an online application form and make an appointment at a UK Visa & Citizenship Application Centre to submit biometric data.
- Criminality check - You will need to complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application. This should not affect the vast majority of EU citizens and their family members.
- Verify your residence in the UK - You will need to provide evidence of your residence in the UK. There are number of ways you can do this, for example providing your National Insurance number (if you have one), or a student status letter confirming the dates of enrolment, attendance and completion (if applicable). If your residence in the UK started before starting your course at Warwick then you can find information on the other types of evidence you can use on GOV.UK (more detailed guidance can be found in Annex A of the Modernised Guidance). Alternatively, if you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to remain, you will just need to provide proof of that status.
Currently enrolled students may request a 'Student Status Letter' from Senate House Student Reception as proof of address - please specify that you require this letter as 'proof of residence' in order to apply for the 'EU Settlement Scheme' so that you are issued the correct letter.
Do I need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI)?
Until the UK leaves the European Union, it is a requirement that EU/EEA students and their family members have CSI (unless they are also considered as a 'worker'). You should, where possible, obtain a EHIC card before you leave your home country.
However, the UK government has also announced that, for those becoming a UK resident prior to the Exit Date, when you apply under the 'EU Settlement Scheme', you are not required to show evidence of comprehensive sickness insurance because the UK has decided, as a matter of domestic policy, that the main requirement for eligibility will be continuous residence in the UK. We would advise that you read more on the webpage of UKCISA regarding EEA Students and CSI.
What's the deadline to make an application under the 'EU Settlement Scheme'?
If you intend to remain in the UK beyond 31 December 2020, or if you are undecided as to what you might be doing then, we would suggest that you make an application under this scheme because it gives you the best immigration status should you wish to have the option of remaining in the UK in longer term.
You will have until 31 December 2020 to apply if the UK exits the EU without a deal, or, June 2021 if the UK exits the EU with a deal and withdrawal agreement.
I don't have an Android phone - what can I do?
If you can access an Android phone (e.g. via a friend or family member) you can download the app and apply this way - the app doesn’t store any data so it’s safe to use on someone else’s phone. The phone needs to have Near-Field Communication (NFC) otherwise known as 'contactless'. If you can use the phone to pay for things, the phone should be the required specification. The app will use contactless technology to scan your passport.
The Immigration Service team has purchased an Android phone if you cannot access it via family or friends. You can visit our Reception during our opening hours to use the phone. There is no need to make an appointment. If you have any questions during the application process, you can ask an adviser for assistance (please note that due to adviser availability, you may need to wait or be prepared to continue your application on a different date or time).
You are advised to watch the YouTube video about an 'EU Settlement Scheme Application Walk-through' before making your application (video is produced by Free Movement Website founded by a UK solicitor).
What happens if I require further assistance regarding the EU Settlement Scheme?
The Immigration Service team has written an Application Guide (last updated: 7 May 2019) with some basic information and screenshots for the application form. We are not currently offering appointments to help you with your application but will be happy to assist you if you visit our Reception during our opening hours. Alternatively, you may wish to complete our online Contact Form.
Can Immigration Service team help me apply for a UK residence card?
The Immigration Service team is not currently offering face-to-face appointments for applications of a UK residence card but this service is commercially available by many solicitors' firms.
As most of the students will be eligible to apply under the 'EU Settlement Scheme', there is not much point in applying for a UK residence card at this point. However, if you are concerned and would like further assistance, please do get in touch with us.
Is there any risk that my application may be refused?
As you are making an immigration application, there is always a risk that your application may be refused, especially if you do not exercise due care. However, the risk is very low. Issues that you may encounter include, for example, if you do not provide sufficient evidence of UK residency, then you may be granted 'pre-settled status' rather than a 'settled status'. If you do not provide evidence of your identity, then your application may be rejected as the caseworker wouldn't be able to process it further.
If you have a criminal conviction, we would advise that you read the Modernised Guidance (this is the guidance to caseworkers - page 37) and EEA Decisions on Public Policy. You may also wish to seek independent legal advice before making this application.
What happens if I have a non-EEA family member who wish to join me in the UK?
If you are a EEA citizen and have been granted either a 'pre-settled status' or 'settled status' under the 'EU Settlement Scheme', then your non-EEA family member (as defined in the new Appendix EU (family permit)) can now obtain entry clearance (a visa applied from outside of the UK) to join you by applying for a family permit which is valid for 6 months. They can then make a further application under the 'EU Settlement Scheme' once they are in the UK.
What happens if I am under the age of 21 and I have a parent who already have 'settled status'?
If you are under the age of 21, are currently residing in the UK, and one of your parents have already been granted 'settled status' under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be granted 'settled status' as well even if you have not resided in the UK for 5 years.
What happens if I have a spouse/partner who already has 'settled status'?
If your spouse/partner has already been granted 'settled status' under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be able to apply under the scheme and you can link your application up if you include their reference number in your application. However, you will need to have resided in the UK for 5 years before you are eligible for 'settled status'.
Where can I find out more about the scheme?
- UKCISA - EU Settlement Scheme
- EU Settlement Scheme Fact Sheets
- Guidance from GOV website
- Guidance on settled or pre-settled status
- Evidence of UK residence
Where can I find out more information about my right as a EEA/Swiss national following Brexit?
EU nationals' family residence rights: https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/residence/family-residence-rights/index_en.htm
Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (if you are looking for representation): http://www.ilpa.org.uk/