Deadline looms for applications to EU Settlement Scheme
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EU citizens who wish to continue living in the UK have until the end of this month to ensure they have applied to do so.
The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, which also covers citizens from EEA countries and Switzerland, must lodge their applications by June 30 to ensure they will continue to have the right to stay in Britain.
The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Some people may be able to stay in Britain without applying, for example, Irish citizens or those who have already been granted indefinite leave to remain.
In order to be eligible for the scheme, applicants must have been resident in the UK by December 31, 2020.
Successful applicants will be granted either settled or pre-settled status.
Applicants will not be asked to choose which they are applying for. Which status is granted depends on how long they have been living in the UK when they applied. Their rights will be different depending on which status they are awarded and when they started living in the UK.
Generally speaking, settled status is awarded to eligible applicants who have lived continuously in the UK for five years or more, with those under five years' residence being granted pre-settled status.
Those in the latter category can apply for settled status once they have passed the five-year continuous residency mark.
Applications to the scheme are free of charge.
Help is available for applicants. Those inside the UK can phone 0300 123 7379 Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays), 8am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.
Organisations helping others to apply can ring 0300 790 0566 on the same days as above.
Visit www.gov.uk for more information, advice and to apply.