The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) has been a crucial program for European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss citizens living in the UK, enabling them to secure their immigration status after Brexit. In this article, we’ll cover the latest important updates on the EUSS, including new information for pre-settled status holders, automatic switching from pre-settled to settled status, and the significance of keeping contact and identity details up to date.
Table of Contents
- Automatic Extension of Pre-Settled Status
- Plans for Automatic Switching to Settled Status
- Keeping Contact and Document Details Up to Date
- Travelling to or from the UK
The EU Settlement Scheme has been a lifeline for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who were residing in the UK before December 31, 2020. It allows them to apply for either pre-settled or settled status, depending on the length of their continuous residence in the UK. However, there have been recent updates to the scheme, impacting pre-settled status holders and the process of switching to settled status automatically.
2. Automatic Extension of Pre-Settled Status
The Home Office has implemented a new arrangement to provide a safety net for pre-settled status holders approaching the expiry date of their status. From September 2023, pre-settled status holders who have not yet obtained settled status will have their status automatically extended by two years before it is due to expire. This extension ensures that no pre-settled status holder loses their immigration status due to not making a second application to the EUSS.
This automatic extension applies to those who have not yet obtained settled status and those awaiting the outcome of their second application to the EUSS. Affected individuals do not need to contact the Home Office regarding this extension, as it will be automatically reflected in their digital status, and they will be notified once it has been applied.
3. Plans for Automatic Switching to Settled Status
In addition to the two-year extension, the Home Office is planning to take further steps during 2024 to automatically switch eligible pre-settled status holders to settled status without requiring them to submit a new application. The process will involve automated checks of pre-settled status holders against government-held information, mainly focusing on continuous residence in the UK.
A detailed update will be provided before this automatic switching process is launched. It is essential to note that this plan will not affect individuals who already hold settled status or have become British citizens since obtaining their settled status.
4. Keeping Contact and Document Details Up to Date
Whether you have pre-settled or settled status, it is vital to keep your contact information, such as email address and phone number, up to date.
This ensures you receive timely updates and information regarding your EUSS status. The Home Office provides a convenient “Update your UK Visas and Immigration account details” service, as well as the “update details” function in the View and Prove service, both available on the official UK government website.
Moreover, if you are issued a new passport or national identity card (for EU, other EEA, or Swiss citizens), updating this information through the provided links will help you avoid unnecessary delays at the border when traveling internationally.
5. Travelling to or from the UK
To ensure smooth travel to and from the UK, it is recommended that you use the same document you used to apply to the EUSS. If you plan to travel using a different document, such as switching from a passport to a national identity card, make sure to link both documents to your UK Visas and Immigration account. The Home Office will update you on the successful addition of your new document.
Visa nationals with pre-settled or settled status should always travel with their in-date biometric residence card to avoid any complications during travel.
The EU Settlement Scheme has been instrumental in providing security and certainty for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens residing in the UK. With the recent updates on the automatic extension of pre-settled status and the Home Office’s plans for automatic switching to settled status, the process has become more accessible and streamlined. It is essential to keep contact and document details up to date to ensure a smooth experience within the EUSS.
- Who is eligible for the automatic extension of pre-settled status? Pre-settled status holders who have not yet obtained settled status and are approaching the current expiry date of their pre-settled status are eligible for the automatic two-year extension.
- Do individuals need to contact the Home Office for the automatic extension? No, pre-settled status holders do not need to contact the Home Office about the extension. It will be automatically reflected in their digital status, and they will be notified once it has been applied.
- What is the process for automatic switching to settled status? The Home Office plans to conduct automated checks of pre-settled status holders against government-held information to identify eligible individuals for automatic switching to settled status. A detailed update will be provided before the process is launched.
- How can I update my contact information for EUSS updates? You can use the “Update your UK Visas and Immigration account details” service or the “update details” function in the View and Prove service on the official UK government website.
- What documents should I use when traveling to or from the UK with EUSS status?It is recommended to travel using the same document you used to apply to the EUSS. If you plan to use a different document, ensure both documents are linked to your UK Visas and Immigration.