EU Nationals

Please note – all applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) are free of charge.

Contents

01   Can I still enter the UK on my EU passport without a visa?

You can use your EU passport to enter for up to 6 months but only if you are intending to visit the UK.  If your reason for entry to the UK is to join or accompany your serving soldier partner permanently, then you will need to apply for the correct visa prior to travelling. Spouses travelling to the UK recently without the relevant visa have essentially been refused entry. They have instead been granted temporary admission (called Immigration Bail) and have been told they must make an application to remain within 28 days or be removed from the UK. If you are in this position you must contact us immediately on fcsupport@aff.org.uk.

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02   EU nationals in the UK before 31 December 2020

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The deadline for applying to the EU settlement scheme was 30 June 2021. You may still be able to apply to the scheme if you meet certain criteria, click here for further information.

The deadline for applying to the EU settlement scheme was 30 June 2021. You may still be able to apply to the scheme if you meet certain criteria, click here for further information.

If you have recently returned to the UK and have not lived here for five years, but you were previously resident (see definition below) in the UK before being assigned overseas with your British spouse/partner, you are able to count your time on the overseas assignment as residence in order to be eligible for settled status. You can only count your time overseas if you were the spouse or durable partner* of a serving person. The guidance at this link (p 122) has the full wording.

If you were initially resident in the UK 5 years or more before the date of application, you should be eligible for settled status.

We suggest you provide the following evidence:

  • A letter or some form of evidence which states the start and end date of the posting and confirmation that you were accompanying the HM Forces member overseas during that time.
  • Evidence which shows the dates you were in the UK, click here for a suggested list.
  • A letter to point the caseworkers to the policy under which you are applying, please contact the F&C team and we will send you a template.

What is the length of residence required?

There is some dispute over what length is required because this is not defined in the guidance. The guidance does not say that you must have been ‘ordinarily’ resident or ‘habitually’ resident – both of which are terms with more specific definitions although even these do not specify the length of residence. If we go by ordinary residence then: ‘A person is ordinarily resident if they are normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences), and their residence here has been adopted voluntarily and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of their life for the time being, whether for short or long duration. All that is necessary is that the purpose for living in the UK has a sufficient degree of continuity to properly be described as settled’.

We would therefore advise that a visit to the UK – if you were living overseas at the time – would be unlikely to fall within the definition of ‘resident’. However, if you have been able to count your time overseas based on a visit to the UK then we would be grateful to hear from you – email fcsupport@aff.org.uk

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03   EU nationals not in the UK by 31 December 2020, currently on a posting within the EU with a British Citizen service person

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You must meet the relationship requirements to qualify under this category (see number 4 below). If you don’t meet the relationship requirements you will need to apply to enter under UK Immigration Rules – see aff.org.uk/advice/foreign-commonwealth/visas/#visas-to-enter-uk

You must complete an application for a EU Settlement Scheme family permit. Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to apply.

Under ‘Category of Application’ select

  • Family member of a qualifying British citizen (Surinder Singh route)

You must return to the UK with the Service person by 29 March 2022 with a family permit in order to qualify under the EU settlement scheme. Once you are in the UK you should contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre to request a paper application to apply to the EU settlement scheme. You are not able to use the online application form. Please note that you cannot normally apply to the EUSS if you enter the UK without a family permit. Please contact the F&C team if you have any problems with this application.

If you have previously resided in the UK, then your time overseas will be considered to be residence in the UK as long as you meet the relationship requirements (see number 4 below). You should make an application to the EUSS now EU Settlement Scheme: applying from outside the UK – GOV.UK. If you were initially resident in the UK 5 years or more before the date of application you should be eligible for settled status. Refer to section 1b above for information on how to apply.

The deadline for applying to the EU settlement scheme was 30 June 2021. You may still be able to apply to the scheme, we advise you contact the F&C team who will provide further guidance.

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04   EU nationals not in the UK by 31 December 2020, currently on a posting outside the EU with a British Citizen service person

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If you have never resided in the UK, you will have to make an application to enter under Appendix Armed Forces. All information can be found here. Please contact us if you require further information.

If you have previously resided in the UK, then your time overseas will be considered to be residence in the UK as long as you meet the relationship requirements (see number 4 below). You should make an application to the EUSS now EU Settlement Scheme: applying from outside the UK – GOV.UK. If you were initially resident in the UK 5 years or more before the date of application you should be eligible for settled status. Refer to section 1b above for information on how to apply.

The deadline for applying to the EU settlement scheme was 30 June 2021.  You may still be able to apply to the scheme, we advise you contact the F&C team who will provide further guidance.

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05   Relationship requirements

1. You must have been married or in a civil partnership by 31 Jan 2020.  It may also be possible to meet the relationship requirement if you were married or in a civilian partnership by 31 Dec 2020 if you can show evidence why you didn’t return to the UK by 31 Dec 2020. Accepted evidence could be a letter from your British partner’s chain of command confirming the dates of the overseas assignment.

2. You must have been in a relationship (as a durable partner* for 2 years) by 31 Jan 2020. It may also be possible to meet the relationship requirement if you can show evidence of a durable relationship for 2 years by 31 Dec 2020. You will need to also provide evidence why you didn’t return to the UK by 31 Dec 2020.  Accepted evidence could be a letter from your British partner’s chain of command confirming the dates of the overseas assignment.

*What is a durable partner?

You are considered a durable partner if you have lived in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for two years before 31 Jan 2020 (so from 31 Jan 2018), unless there is other significant evidence of the durable relationship. For example, evidence of joint responsibility for a child (a birth certificate or a custody agreement showing they are cohabiting and sharing parental responsibility).  If your relationship started by 31 Dec 2018 then you may meet the relationship requirement if you can show evidence why you didn’t return to the UK by 31 Dec 2020 as explained above.

Evidence of cohabitation can include:

  • bank statements or utility bills in joint names at the same address
  • residential tenancy or rental agreements or mortgage statements
  • official correspondence which links you at the same address
  • evidence of joint finances, business ventures or commitments.
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06   Can I use the NHS?

Please refer to this link for all information about access to the NHS.

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07   Applications for Citizenship by EU Nationals with permanent residency/Indefinite Leave to Remain

Information on applying for Citizenship for an EU national can be found here.

However, in order to be eligible for Citizenship you need to show that you were lawfully resident in the UK during the residence period. If you have not been working in the UK since you came here, then you might fall into the Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) trap.

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance
Comprehensive Sickness Insurance (CSI) is a legal requirement for EEA and Swiss students, people who are self-sufficient and their family members who are residing in the UK with them. If you are married to a British Citizen and are not working in the UK, then you are considered to be self-sufficient and therefore you are only legally in the UK if you hold CSI. This has always been the requirement, but it was not widely known.

Luckily, it is possible to be granted leave under the EU Settlement Scheme even if you have never had CSI because the Government waived the requirement to have held this for the purposes of settlement. However, to be eligible for Citizenship you still need to have shown lawful residence during the three or five-year residential qualifying period. You will not be considered to have had lawful residence if you have been self-sufficient but have not held CSI. If you have been here unlawfully then you cannot apply for Citizenship for 10 years.

For further information about this requirement please refer to the UK Guide AN at this link (page 16).

And the information in the Good Character guidance at this link  (page 49).

The guidance says that discretion is possible, should I still apply?
There is currently no policy on what discretion the caseworker is able to apply in these cases, so at the moment it is not safe to apply as you will lose the money. It is recommended that you keep an eye on this site for updates.

If you have further questions about the CSI requirement then please contact us.

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08   Further assistance

If you are on an overseas assignment you should firstly speak to your soldier’s chain of command, it is their responsibility to provide assistance. If they are unable to help, they should raise the query up the chain.  However, if you are told that they cannot assist, then please contact us.

If you are in the UK, please read the information on the UKVI website in the first instance. If your enquiry is complex, we may have to refer you to other organisations to assist.

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