Border rules for EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their family members entering the UK have changed as a result of Brexit. In this post, we cover different scenarios depending on nationality, immigration status and whether you have a Certificate of Application (COA) or have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme or not. You will learn about your rights and the documentation that you must bring with you when you travel outside the UK and have to enter back in the country. Read it to travel safely and to avoid delays at the border.
Switching from pre-settled to settled status.
If you were granted pre-settled status, also known as limited leave to remain, after applying to the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need to apply for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) before your pre-settled expires.
Immigration information for UE and Non-EU nationals experiencing Domestic Abuse
Are you an EU or non-EU national in an abusive relationship whose immigration status depends on an EU/EEA/Swiss partner with settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)? If you are thinking about leaving your partner (or have already left them) because of domestic violence or abuse, and you are worried about your immigration status in the UK, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor or an OISC adviser and collect as much evidence as possible.
EUSS Statistics for 30th September 2021
In late November, the Home Office published more detailed, quarterly statistics and so we decided to have a closer look on the figures for Scotland and Scottish local authorities.
EUSS Statistics for 30th June 2021
In late September, the Home Office published more detailed, quarterly statistics and so we decided to have a closer look on the figures for Scotland and Scottish local authorities.
Proving your right to work in the UK
From 1st July 2021 UK employers face changes in right to work checks for EEA nationals. Until 30th June 2021, EEA nationals could prove their right to work by presenting a valid ID document but now, new employees must provide proof that they have been granted (or at least applied for) status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Without a valid confirmation of the right to work, employers cannot sign new staff. If they do, they can face a penalty up to £20,000 for employing undocumented workers.
Applying to EUSS after the 30th June deadline
Those who are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme can still apply for settled or pre-settled status even after the deadline of 30th June 2021. Late applications, however, are discretionary. This means that applicants must explain and prove why they were unable to apply before the deadline. The Home Office caseworker will then assess if the applicant falls under one of the categories of reasonable grounds to make a late application, and decide whether to accept this application or not.
EUSS quarterly statistics for December 2020
On 25 February 2021, The Home Office published the latest quarterly information on applications received and cases concluded to the EUSS for local authorities and regions from 28 August 2018 to 31 December 2020. We have decided to have a closer look at the figures for local authorities in Scotland and nationalities that submitted the most applications in each of those local authorities.
Register to vote in the Scottish Parliament elections
On 6th May 2021 Scotland will hold the elections to the Scottish Parliament. Foreign national of another country living in Scotland who has leave to enter or stay in the UK, or who does not need leave can also vote. The deadline to register to vote is 19 April 2021. The registration deadline for a postal vote is 6 April 2021.
Citizens Rights Project launches appeal for hardship fund for EU citizens
We have launched an appeal to raise funds to assist the most vulnerable clients with the costs of their travel, paying for new ID documents, or even taking a passport photo. There are only few hardship funds available in Scotland and our clients are often not eligible to apply for either of them and rely on private discretionary donations.
Citizens Rights Project: a new online rights service for the Polish and Spanish communities in Edinburgh
The Citizens’ Rights Project is expanding its services for European citizens by providing a multilingual rights service, in Spanish and Polish, for EU citizens in Edinburgh during the pandemic.
EU/EEA/Swiss nationals with criminality issues – information on applying for Settled or pre-settled status (EU Settlement Scheme)
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, or their family member, living in the UK and have concerns about how the rules on criminality issues affect you, we advise to read this article, seek professional help and apply as soon as possible for pre-settled or settled status.
Helen Kepelian: My experience as a volunteer EU Settlement Scheme adviser for Citizens Rights Project
My name is Helen. I am a linguist, and in my leisure time, I volunteer as an OISC registered EUSS advisor for the Citizens’ Rights Project. I support fellow EU citizens who live in the Central Belt and Trossachs to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Applying for settled and pre-settled status requires genuine residence
I am aware, from discussions on the internet and questions at meetings, that some EU citizens have wondered whether they could travel to the UK before the end of 2020 and stay in the UK temporarily, perhaps for a very short period, with the idea of acquiring status under the Settlement Scheme as a type of ‘insurance policy’. The intention is not to live in the UK at that stage, but to be able to use that status to secure a right to reside in the UK at some future date if they wished or needed to do so.
Citizens Rights Project to brief local authority staff working with vulnerable EU nationals about the EU Settlement Scheme
The Citizens Rights Project has organised a further free webinar about the EU Settlement Scheme aimed at professionals working with vulnerable EU citizens in local authorities and third sector organisations, in collaboration with their partner Drummond Miller LLP.
EU Settlement Scheme statistics for Scotland
At the end of August, the Home Office has published new quarterly statistics of the EU Settlement Scheme. We had a closer look at these statistics wondering what nationalities have submitted the most EUSS applications in Scotland and which local authorities have the largest number of applications. Then, we looked at the top 10 of these local authorities and checked which nationalities submitted the most applications in each of them.
Why COVID-19 jeopardises the EU Settlement Scheme (and what the Home Office can do about it)
The pandemic has made it difficult for some EU nationals to fulfil the requirements of the EU Settlement Scheme. Some cannot obtain the documents they need or may fall foul of the continuous residency rules. Mark Lazarowicz (Terra Firma Chambers) and Dorota Peszkowska (Feniks) warn they are at risk of losing their right to stay in the UK and claim benefits, and suggest how the Home Office could alter its guidance.
Citizens Rights Project Receives backing from Scottish Government During Coronavirus Crisis
With less than six months remaining in the EU Exit Transition period, EU Citizens in Scotland are to get increased support from the Scottish Government funded Citizens Rights Project. Part of the government’s Stay in Scotland package, this funding will support the project’s continuing work on two programmes:
More volunteers needed to reach vulnerable EU citizens in Scotland
Become part of our family of volunteers. Citizens Rights Project is focused on providing information about the EU Settlement Scheme, which involves the application process for the settled or pre-settled status for Eu/EEA/Swiss nationals, and their family members, living in the UK.
A call for action – We need your help to reach vulnerable EU citizens
s a small third-sector organisation, with a mission to help vulnerable EEA nationals, we count on other NGOs, local governments, community groups, employers and others to help us reaching them. We have designed an especific call for action that will help us diseminating information about the scheme and our free help widely.
Joint webinar with Northern Ireland human rights group
We’re joining together with Northern Ireland’s ‘Committee on the Administration of Justice’ to organise (from Northern Ireland) a free webinar on new changes to the UK’s rules on settled status for EU citizens.
1-2-1 on line advice sessions for settled and pre-settled status applications now available – in many languages!
The lockdown because of Covid-19 has obviously meant that we have had to change the way that we operate. This has had particular impact on our plans for our ‘Settled Scotland’ project, to provide advice and support to EU citizens in Scotland who want to apply for settled status.
Launching Settled Scotland
Settled Scotland focuses on providing information on, and assistance with, the application process for the settled or pre-settled status for EU and EEA nationals living in the UK. The aim of the programme is recruiting local volunteers and trained them to become registered under the OISC Level 1 special scheme for community groups, charities and other not-for-profit organisations providing advice on EU Settled Status scheme applications.
More outreach sessions for EU27 citizens and advisers
We are delighted to announce that the Scottish Government has funded EU Citizens' Rights Project with £50,000 to deliver further information events across Scotland for EU/EEA Citizens and their families, and third sector and local government workers, until March 2020.
EUSS support for vulnerable EU27 citizens in the Lothians
We are happy to announce a new partnership between our EU Citizens' Rights Project and Feniks Counselling, Personal Development and Support Services Ltd. Together we have received funds to support members of the EU27 community in the Lothians.