The effects of the UK's withdrawal from the EU have, to some extent, been most keenly felt by individuals. Once the right to freedom of movement across Europe came to an end, couples with spouses that originate from different countries and families where some individuals live in the UK and others in Europe have been presented with a new level of difficulties when they wish to travel, live or join relatives in the UK. They are now weighed down by the procedures and processes required to enable them to unite the families or bring a spouse to the UK.

The highly experienced lawyers in Giambrone & Partners' immigration team are well-placed to assist with the range of actions currently required to access the UK and can assist in complex cross-border regulatory procedures including settled status refusals and late applications as well as time-sensitive applications involving couples where an EU citizen wishes to join their UK spouse and live in the UK before the opportunity to apply closes in March 2022. We can also assist with reuniting other family members in the UK.

Nicola Bodano commented: "Starting from 1 July 2021, all EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, as well as their family members, are required to prove their right to be in the UK. The Home Office prescribes that 'failure to apply to the EUSS may negatively impact your eligibility to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK, and to rent a property in England' ( A valid UK immigration status can still be obtained under EUSS, provided applicants can prove they have resided in the UK by 31 December 2020. The good news is this route is still open to joining family members of a qualifying EU, EEA, or Swiss national who was resident here in the UK before the transition period".

Nicola further commented: "The Home Office has taken a 'flexible and pragmatic approach' to accepting late applications based on individual circumstances. Potential applicants are encouraged to regularise their positions as soon as practicable. However, those who do not follow the rules must face the dreaded 'hostile environment', which is a policy aimed at making life difficult for undocumented immigrants living in the UK. It is therefore imperative to submit the right application aided by a lawyer who is an expert in UK Immigration Law'.

Bringing your EU citizen family member to live the UK

A couple, where one person is a UK citizen and the other is an EU citizen, that established a relationship in Europe prior to 31 December 2020 but now wish to live in the UK can still make an application for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit before the March 2022 deadline. A family permit can also extend to other members of a UK citizens' extended family and under current UK immigration rules.

Once you have achieved the aim of obtaining EU Settlement Scheme family permit it will allow entry and residence in the UK for up to six months; during which time you can study and work in the UK and also allows frequent travel back and forth to the UK until such time as the permit expires.

In order to maintain your residence and secure your position in the UK, an application for pre-settled status in the UK should be made immediately. Our capable and experienced immigration lawyers can assist in navigating the complexities of the application form. Our lawyers have multi-lingual capacity and can advise you in your own language thereby removing any misunderstandings or confusion.

If there are any errors, irregularities or omissions in the documentation our expert lawyers will be able to ensure that these problems are dealt with before making the application preventing the possibility of rejection.

Bringing a non-EEA citizen spouse to live in the UK

A citizen of a country other than within the European Economic Area (EEA) who met and married a UK citizen whilst living in the EU and by virtue of their residence held an EEA visa, could, by means of the "Surinder Singh" route, so-called due to a landmark case, which allows family members of a "qualifying British citizen" also join their family member in the UK due to having obtained and retained European freedom of movement rights under EU freedom of movement law whilst residing in the EU and can use the rights reunite with their family member in the UK. The non-EEA citizen and their UK partner must meet separate eligibility criteria and have lived continuously in the EU for at least three months of genuine residence.

The requirements of the Surinder Singh route are stringent and multifaceted, Giambrone & Partners' immigration team has considerable experience with assisting clients to travel through this route.

Failed or Late Applications for EU Settled Status

Giambrone & Partners' immigration team can assist on a case-by-case basis with EU settled status applications, depending on the nature of the rejection or the late submission. From the onset, the Home Office indicated that there would be flexibility and understanding in certain circumstances.

Compassionate reasons for a delayed application are likely to be viewed more favourably and there must be supporting evidence of validity. An individual who was unable to complete and deliver their application due to serious illness or the consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic is more likely to be viewed with leniency.

Many EEA nationals found the complexity of the application form presented an obstacle when attempting to apply for settled status. The Giambrone & Partners' immigration lawyers can steer you through and ensure that you have sufficient supporting evidence for a successful application.

It is not impossible to regularise your position even from the standpoint of a late application or when facing a hostile environment. Our teams of immigration lawyers have years of experience in dealing with complex immigration issues and can draw on the extensive legal knowledge within Giambrone & Partners to find the best possible course to assist individuals in challenging situations.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.