With all the news since March being about coronavirus – COVID-19, it would be easy to forget that there are imminent changes for all businesses, employers and employees and the right to work and live in the UK.
The latest information on Gov.uk website – (follow this link) https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families the headline is that the processing of settled and pre-settled status applications is taking longer due to yes you guessed it COVID-19.
The Home Office have not yet advised that the application closing date of 30th June 2021 is to change, so it is really important that you work with your EU employees to determine whether they are going to apply for settled or pre-settled status if you haven’t already done so, and that they get their applications lodged. It is also really important to reconfirm that to be eligible applicants must be living in the UK by 31st December 2020.
As with most of this unprecedented year, with our every day life changing regularly, this is one situation that we may believe may be extended, but in probability won’t.
Employees already granted with Settled/Indefinite leave to remain
Applicants granted settlement or indefinite leave to remain in the UK will have been issued with a BRP with an expiry date of 31st December 2024. This is due to the Home Office’s database being set for that date.
The Home Office have advised that applicants will be issued with a replacement ILR BRP free of charge, in the event that they have not applied for British citizenship in the interim. The HO have also stated that it will provide further guidance nearer 31st December 2024 on the replacement process.
We would also advise that after this date, the applicant will continue to retain UK, which generally can only be lost if an applicant remains outside the UK for 2 years or more, or commits a serious criminal offence.
With regards to British citizenship, it is entirely up to the applicant as to whether they wish to apply or not. Whether the applicant requires British citizenship, which leads to a British Passport will depend on whether they see any benefits in having possession of the same or not, but it is certainly not mandatory to apply.
If we can help you further on any part of the process, at BM we are always here to support you.