Our Blog

EUSS Ruled Unlawful – The Worries of Pre-Settled Status Holders in the UK

15 Feb 2023

What is the EUSS?

You may have seen the headlines of the EU settlement scheme being deemed unlawful. The scheme, set up by the British government was bought in to allow eligible European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss citizens, as well as their eligible family members, to apply for permission to stay and continue living in the UK after Brexit. The EUSS is supposed to protect the rights of EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens and their families who were living in the UK before December 31, 2020, the end of the Brexit transition period.

Eligible applicants who successfully apply to the EUSS can be granted either settled or pre-settled status, depending on how long they have been living in the UK. Settled status allows an individual to stay in the UK indefinitely, while pre-settled status allows an individual to stay for up to five years, after which they can apply for settled status.

What was the high court’s decision?

The high court have decided that requiring people with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to apply for Settled Status should be unlawful. The court has suggested that the scheme breaches the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU because it fails properly to protect the rights of EU citizens.

What has changed?

The UK government disagree with this decision and are appealing it. This means that while this is ongoing nothing will change.

Whilst the Government appeal this decision people can still apply under the scheme whilst it is ongoing. Once you become eligible, having lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man continuously for 5 years, you can apply to switch your pre-settled status to settled status. It’s important to note that the 5-year period is counted from the date you started your continuous residence, rather than from the date you received your pre-settled status.

Once you’re granted settled status, there is usually no limit on how long you can stay in the UK. Moreover, you’ll typically be eligible to apply for British citizenship 12 months after being granted settled status.

If you have any questions they can be directed to the UK Visas and Immigration.