Are you going to study in the UK? As always, some formalities related to moving to the Islands await you. However, this year you will also need to obtain Pre-Settled status, which will allow you to legally stay, study, and work in the UK. So let’s check what Pre-Settled and Settled status is and how you can get it.
How will studying in England change after Brexit?
Brexit, or leaving the European Union by Great Britain, has caused a lot of changes in terms of studying in England. Until recently, we wondered how it would affect the rules of financing bachelor’s and master’s studies in Great Britain. However, we now know that current students can still study in England on preferential terms. However, other regulations are changing, including those regarding living, studying, and working in the UK.
One of the changes is the need to apply for the Settlement Scheme, which allows you to receive Pre-Settled or Settled status. It is essential for anyone planning to stay in the UK after December 31, 2020. This applies to both new students who are starting their studies in England only this year, as well as those who have been studying at British universities for several years. So let’s take a look at Pre-Settled and Settled status.
What is Pre-Settled and Settled status?
Pre-Settled status is the temporary status of a person who is settled. It is awarded to persons who meet both of the following conditions:
– residing in the UK before 31 December 2020,
– they do not have a 5-year continuous period of residence in the UK.
Pre-Settled status allows you to stay, study, and work in the UK for the next 5 years after obtaining it. Then, after this time, you can apply for Settled status.
Settled status is the status of a person who is permanently settled. It can be obtained by people who:
– moved to the UK before 30 December 2020,
– have spent at least 5 years in a row in the UK as part of the so-called uninterrupted stay.
At this point, it is worth clarifying that “continuous residence” means that the person has been staying in England for at least 5 years in a row for at least 6 months each year. There are, of course, exceptions to this, such as a serious illness, posting to work abroad, or giving birth to a child. In this case, however, a single period of absence from the UK cannot exceed 12 months.
And what does Settled status give us? First of all, it authorizes it to stay in the United Kingdom indefinitely. Additionally, after 12 months of obtaining it, we can apply for British citizenship.
Of course, if you have been in the UK for less than 5 years or are planning to start studying in England, you will be eligible to apply for Pre-Settled status. It will allow you to:
– start or continue your studies in the United Kingdom,
– renting accommodation and taking up employment on the islands,
– utilize the NHS (National Health Service), which is the public healthcare service in the United Kingdom,
– travel to and from the United Kingdom without additional formalities,
– receive a government student loan.
How to get Pre-Settled and Settled status?
Applying for Pre-Settled or Settled status is very straightforward. First and foremost, you will need a biometric passport or national ID card, along with a digital facial photograph, to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled status. Indeed, it is essential to be physically present in the United Kingdom to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled status. Exactly, you must also have a UK residential address. This means that it is not sufficient to reside in a hotel or with friends during the application process.
You can submit the application by mail or through a special mobile app for your phone/laptop/tablet called “EU Exit: ID Document Check. This application is available for both Android and iOS operating systems. The process itself should not take you longer than 5-10 minutes. Then your application will be processed by the British Home Office within 5 working days. Please, bear in mind that currently, this processing time may be extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
When can I apply for Pre-Settled and Settled status?
You can apply for Pre-Settled or Settled status until the end of 2020. However, the sooner you do it, the less likely you are to forget and get into trouble. There is, however, one exception.
If you have been studying in the UK for some time, and for example, it will be five years since you started living on the islands in November, hold off on applying for a little while. In such a case, if your five-year mark is approaching before November, you would need to apply for Pre-Settled status before that time. However, waiting until November would allow you to apply directly for Settled status. However, remember that the absolute deadline for submitting the application is December 31, 2020, and you cannot exceed this date. Even if you are just a few days short of completing a 5-year stay in the United Kingdom.
How much does it cost to get Pre-Settled and Settled?
Initially, applying for Pre-Settled or Settled status was subject to a fee. Currently, this service is free of charge for citizens of the European Union.
Where can I find more information about becoming Pre-Settled and Settled?
If you need assistance with the application, you can call the phone number 0300 123 7379 (for people in the UK) or +44 (0)203 080 0010 (for individuals outside the UK). Both numbers are active:
– from Monday to Friday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (on working days),
– and on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM.