a) IMMIGRATION AND THE EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME:
When the UK leaves the EU, the rules that allow EU, EEA and Swiss nationals to live in the UK will change. This information is provided to help you and your family prepare for these changes.
You are strongly advised to prepare by ensuring that EU, EEA or Swiss nationals who are members of your family understand their position regarding their immigration status in the UK.
A flow chart has been provided on page 7 to give you a guide to the immigration requirements for family members of UK Service Personnel and Crown Servants when the UK leaves the EU.
EU, EEA and Swiss national dependants accompanying UK national MOD personnel in countries within the EU
If you are currently on assignment within the EU, and your accompanying dependants (such as children, spouses, partners, parents, or grandparents) are with you, they will be able to return to the UK under current rules until 29 March 2022 (even if they have not lived in the UK before). They will be able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme once they have been to the UK (if they have lived in the UK prior to your posting they can apply now). After this date such family members will be able to return to the UK by applying through the applicable UK Immigration Rules.
EU, EEA and Swiss national dependants accompanying UK national MOD personnel in countries outside the EU
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who are dependants of a UK Service Person or Crown Servant currently on assignment outside the EU are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if they lived in the UK before going on the posting. Successfully applying to the EU Settlement Scheme will grant them a UK immigration status which will give them permission to travel to and live and work in the UK after free movement ends.
The Home Office has confirmed that, in both a ‘no deal’ and a ‘deal’ scenario, EU, EEA and Swiss national spouses, partners, and dependants accompanying Crown Servants and Service Personnel overseas who have previously resident in the UK will have their time abroad on posting counted towards UK residence under the scheme.
They will need to demonstrate residence in the UK within six months of going to your posting. This can be demonstrated in a number of ways, including through HMRC records, bank statements, bills, or plane tickets.
The GOV.UK website has guidance on what evidence you need to produce. Please look at it and assure yourself that you have what you need.
If you don’t have this evidence available and if your EU, EEA or Swiss national spouse, partner, or dependants accompanying you on your posting did not live in the UK beforehand then they will need to come to the UK before the ‘specified date’ (exit day if there’s no deal; 31 December 2020 if there’s a deal) in order to qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme. If they do not, then they will need to meet the UK’s domestic Immigration Rules at the point at which they wish to come to the UK.
Dependants who are EU, EEA or Swiss nationals living outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland and who cannot demonstrate that they were in the UK before posting please contact the MOD EU Exit Team by email with the subject “EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME”. We can then advise you on next steps: SPOEEUX-EUExitGrpMailbox@mod.gov.uk.
More information on applying to the EU settlement scheme from outside the UK can be found here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will the time my dependant lived with me while I was on assignment outside the UK count toward the five years required for settled status? Yes, providing they can demonstrate they were resident in the UK before you were posted. If not, and they are outside the EU, please contact the MOD EU Exit Team by email with the subject “EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME”. We can then advise on next steps: SPOEEUX-EUExitGrpMailbox@mod.gov.uk
How much does it cost to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme? There is no fee.
How do we demonstrate that my dependant was resident in the UK before I was posted? The Home Office will accept many forms of evidence such as HMRC records, utility bills, credit card statements, bank statements, travel tickets etc. A more detailed list can be found on the GOV.UK website but the Home Office can accept alternative evidence too.
My dependent is an EU, EEA or Swiss national. We are living outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland and they cannot demonstrate a presence in the UK sometime during the six months before I was posted. Please contact the MOD EU Exit Team by email with the subject “EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME”. We can then advise you on next steps: SPOEEUX-EUExitGrpMailbox@mod.gov.uk.
Can our friends who are EU nationals still visit us in the UK if the UK leaves the EU without a deal? Until 31 December 2020, EU citizens will be able to enter the UK for up to three months by showing either a valid national identity card or a passport at the UK border. Information on visiting the UK can be found here.
If you are having problems or your application has been refused contact the AFF F&C team on firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your refusal letter.