The deadline for applications under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June.

Any EU national living in the UK who has not yet applied must take immediate action to secure future residency rights in the UK.

The deadline to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, which enables EEA nationals who are resident in the UK to continue living in the UK post-Brexit, is 30 June 2021.

From 1 July 2021, EEA nationals living in the UK without Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status will be living in the UK unlawfully. The Home Office will only accept and consider applications submitted after this point under very limited circumstances including ‘compelling practical or compassionate reasons’.  Consequently applications made after 30 June will need to be accompanied by evidence as to why an application was not submitted by the deadline, and will also require the discretion of the Home Office. Businesses should, at the very least, circulate this reminder within the workforce so that those employees who are yet to apply, do so urgently. Businesses should also start considering whether a right to work audit of the workforce will need to be conducted after 1 July.

Visits to the UK – what is permitted?

Another issue that must be borne in mind is the basis on which all non UK nationals can enter the UK.  Those EEA nationals who do not qualify under the EU Settlement Scheme and who arrive in the UK from 1 January 2021, as well as all other non UK nationals, need to have a valid reason covered under the UK Visitor rules, or they need to have appropriate immigration permission.

Those arriving in the UK as visitors are only permitted to undertake a limited number of activities: anything which can be defined as or includes working, being employed, running a business or providing goods and services (this is a non-exhaustive list) in the UK is prohibited for visitors. Although business meetings are permitted, other activities may require the individual to obtain a pre-authorised work visa enabling them to conduct the activity in question in the UK. It is worth remembering that one of the conditions attached to obtaining a Skilled Worker visa (a work permit) is to provide evidence of English language skills in a specified format: this is not something that EEA nationals coming to the UK have ever had to think about before.

Recently there have been instances where Border Force officials have questioned (and in some cases taken enforcement action against) those arriving in the UK from the EEA, to ensure that the purpose of their visit falls within one of the permitted reasons. In our experience, a comfort letter detailing the purpose of the trip and confirming its authorisation under the visitor rules helps to avoid any unforeseen difficulties at the port on arrival. Not only does it provide clarity to the traveller and the Border Force officials, it also means that an assessment can be undertaken pre-departure confirming that a work visa is not required.

So, any non-UK national returning to the UK following a trip abroad for any reason needs to remember that they will need to qualify to return – and the basis on which they can qualify to do so may be different from previously, especially if they are an EEA national and are returning to the UK after 30 June.

Contact us

If you have any questions about these issues in relation to your own organisation, please contact a member of the team or speak with your usual Fox Williams contact.



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