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EU Settlement Scheme: deadline to apply 30 June 2021

29 June 2021

EU free movement rules were brought to an end in the UK at 11pm on 31 December 2020. However, this also signalled the beginning of the ‘grace period’ which lasts until midnight on 30 June 2021.

The grace period is aimed at protecting EU citizens and their family members who were lawfully resident in the UK by virtue of EU free movement law at 11pm on 31 December 2020. It allows them to continue to live in the UK and gives them additional time to make applications under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The deadline to make this application is at the end of 30 June 2021.

Therefore, those EU nationals who have not applied by the end of the grace period will remain unlawfully present in the UK.

The government has said that it will accept late applications where there are ‘reasonable grounds’ for failing to meet the grace period deadline and it is made within a ‘reasonable’ time period after this.

Hopefully the government will adopt a flexible approach to late applications. However, those who are eligible for leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme who have not yet applied, should do so as soon as possible by the end of the 30 June 2021 deadline.

How can organisations support EU national employees? Employers can take the following steps in providing support for EU nationals during the UK-EU grace period:

  • Sending reminders about key deadlines and required actions
  • Writing letters of support for EU national employees where requested
  • Using the Employer Tool Kit on the government website.

Promotional Material for employers can be found here: EU Settlement Scheme: introduction for employers (accessible version) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

If you are unsure about how the changes will impact you, please get in touch.

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