In this post, we explore how to apply for Pre-Settled Status under Appendix EU if you have already been granted an EU Settlement Scheme ("EUSS") Family Permit. This will allow you to stay in the UK after your EUSS Family Permit expires, and be eligible to apply for Settled Status after 5 years in the UK.
You might be eligible for an EUSS Family Permit if you are the 'family member' of a relevant EEA citizen, or a Qualifying British citizen. If you do not already hold this permit and are wondering whether you might be eligible, or for more information on how to apply, please see our previous post here.
Entering the UK on an EUSS Family Permit
Once your application for an EUSS Family Permit is approved, you will receive a vignette in your passport. This has a photo of you, a reference number, and the dates of validity. You must enter the UK during the period your EUSS Family Permit is still valid - this is inclusive of the start and end dates displayed on your vignette. It will be granted for a period of either four or six months. The length of validity depends on how quickly your application has been processed in relation to the planned arrival date which you provided with your application.
When entering the UK border, you will need to see a border control officer who will check your passport unless you are a national of one of the following countries, in which case you can use the ePassport gates:
- the EEA;
- New Zealand;
- South Korea;
You will be able to leave and re-enter the UK as many times as you want, whilst the EUSS Family Permit remains valid.
It is worth noting that although the advice on the www.gov.uk website states that you will be able to "work or study in the UK", the actual permit does not say 'work permitted', unlike other visas, so it is unclear whether an employer would/should accept this. The previous EEA family permits did not give the right to work. As such, it would be best practice to apply for Pre-Settled Status as soon as possible after arriving in the UK, as once granted, that definitely allows you to work in the UK.
Applying for the EU Settlement Scheme as the family member of a qualifying British citizen
If you hold an EUSS Family Permit as the family member of a qualifying British citizen you must return to the UK with the British citizen by 23:00 GMT on 29 March 2022. You must apply to the EUSS within 3 months (90 days) of your arrival.
You cannot apply online. Instead, you must contact the EU Resolution Centre to ask for the required paper form to be sent to you by post or email as a PDF. You must complete this form and return it by pre-paid post to the address shown on it.
Applying as the family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
Your family member must have:
- Started living in the UK before 31 December 2020; and
- Already has, is waiting for a decision on, or would be eligible for pre-settled or settled status.
If you are a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner, your relationship with the family member must have begun by 31 December 2020 and be ongoing.
If you arrived in the UK on or after 01 April 2021, you must apply to the EUSS within 3 months (90 days) of your arrival. If you joined them before 01 April 2021, your deadline was 30 June 2021 and has now passed.
You can use the online application form here.
Applying when you have missed the deadline
If you apply after 90 days of your arrival in the UK, you must show that there are 'reasonable grounds' for applying after the deadline in order to be granted Pre-Settled Status. The Home Office has not provided an exhaustive list of what may be accepted as 'reasonable grounds', and each case will be considered according to the particular circumstances. Examples in the guidance include:
- The Applicant was undergoing serious medical treatment around the time of the deadline;
- The Applicant did not have the physical or mental capacity to apply;
- The Applicant was prevented from applying because they were a victim of domestic abuse or a controlling relationship;
- The Applicant is a potential or confirmed victim of modern salvery;
- Other compelling practical or compassionate reasons.
Other evidence required for the application
You must provide your 'biometric information', which is a recent passport-sized photograph and a biometric passport or identity card. If you are a non-EEA citizen, you will need to provide your fingerprints as well and attend a biometrics appointment to do so.
You should provide evidence of having arrived in the UK. There is no specified evidence, but this could include some or all of the following:
- Boarding passes or travel itineraries for your flight to the UK;
- A photograph of your passport showing an entry stamp to the UK;
- Passenger locator forms;
- Evidence of post-arrival Covid-19 tests taken;
- Bank statements of an account opened in the UK;
- Correspondence addressed to you in the UK.
If your relationship with the qualifying British citizen or EEA national is as an 'durable partner', you will also need to demonstrate that your relationship with the family member is ongoing. This could include witness statements testifying how your relationship has progressed, communication about your plans to move to the UK together, photographs of you enjoying time together in the UK.
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.