EEA nationals after Brexit

February 4, 2021 524

As we all know, the UK has now left the EU. And, as some of us know, there is currently a transitional period – also known as a “grace period” – for EEA nationals and their family members.

EEA nationals and their family members (whether EEA or non-EEA) are and have been able to apply for Pre-Settled/Settled Status. Pre-Settled Status is what you get if you have been in the UK for less than five years and Settled Status (also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain) is what you get if you have been in the UK for five years or more.

These are statuses under British Law, not European law, and they are part of the EU Settlement Scheme.

It is possible to make these applications up until 30 June 2021: this is the last date of the “grace period”. However, these applications are now only possible for EEA nationals if they were in the UK before 31 December 2020. And family members (either EEA or non-EEA) of the EEA national will only be able to apply to join their EEA family member in the UK if the relationship existed before 31 December 2020 – and if it still exists now.

But some applications that were possible are no longer possible. Whereas what are now called “close” family members may be able to apply to join their EEA family members, other less close ones are no longer able to. Relatives such as siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins – who used to be able to apply as “extended family members” under the old rules – can no longer do so.

Partners – and this includes unmarried partners – can still apply. And in some cases parents, grandparents and children (either under 21 or 21 and over) can apply to join their EEA family member, but the rules are complex and not every combination is possible.

If you want to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme we will be able to advise you; we have extensive experience in this area.

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