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New Covid provisions published for EU Settlement applicants

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  • UPDATE New Covid provisions published for EU Settlement applicants

    The new provisions are found here: Coronavirus (COVID-19): EU Settlement Scheme - guidance for applicants - GOV.UK

    Of special note are the following:
    • Provisions allowing an absence of over 12 months for people with pre-settled status. Previously there was no provision to qualify for settled status after spending more than 12 months out of the UK;
    • A provision for a second absence of up to 12 months, previously only a single absence up to 6 months was allowed in the entire 5 year period; and
    • Choosing to spend time out of the UK over Covid related issues, such as to spend time with family abroad or staying in a country with fewer restrictions, work or run a business from another country are now allowed alongside important reasons for an absence up to 12 months.

    I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.


  • #2
    Provision for a second absence up to 12 months

    Under Appendix EU, you can only have a single period of absence of up to 12 months for an ‘important reason. Where you have a second period of absence exceeding 6 months in any 12-month period for an ‘important reason’, you have exceeded the absence permitted under Appendix EU.

    However, you can still apply to the EUSS where you can evidence that one of those periods of absence of up to 12 months is because of coronavirus.

    This includes (but is not limited to) where you can show you were:
    • ill with coronavirus
    • in quarantine, self-isolating or shielding in accordance with local public health guidance on coronavirus
    • caring for a family member affected by coronavirus
    • prevented from returning earlier to the UK due to travel disruption caused by coronavirus
    • advised by your university that, due to coronavirus, your course was moved to remote learning and you were advised or allowed to return to your home country to study remotely
    • advised by your university or employer not to return to the UK, and to continue studying or working remotely from your home country, due to coronavirus
    • absent from the UK for another reason relating to coronavirus, for example, you left or remained outside the UK because there were fewer coronavirus restrictions elsewhere; you preferred to work or run a business from home overseas; or you would have been unemployed in the UK and preferred to rely on support from family or friends overseas
    This means you can rely on any coronavirus related reason (including where you chose to leave or remain outside the UK because of the pandemic) as the basis for requiring a second period of absence of up to 12 months for an ‘important reason’. In these circumstances, you will be treated as not having broken your continuous qualifying period of residence.

    Read examples of evidence that you can provide to confirm your absence and the reason for it.

    Either period of absence may exceed the 12-month maximum for a period of absence for an ‘important reason’ permitted by Appendix EU because coronavirus meant you were prevented from, or advised against, returning to the UK earlier. In these circumstances, that excess absence will not be counted towards your continuous qualifying period of residence under the EU Settlement Scheme.

    Up to the first 6 months of the second period of absence will be counted towards your continuous qualifying period of residence under the EU Settlement Scheme, where the period counted means you have not been absent for more than 6 months in any 12-month period. Your continuous qualifying period will be paused from that point and will resume from the point you return to the UK.

    Where you hold pre-settled status, and this is due to expire before you can complete the continuous qualifying period of residence required for you to be eligible for settled status, you will be able to apply for a further grant of pre-settled status.

    I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

    Comment


    • #3
      Absence over 12 months

      If you have been absent for an ‘important reason’ – whether because of coronavirus or for another important reason – but your absence has exceeded 12 months because coronavirus meant you were prevented from, or advised against, returning to the UK earlier, you have exceeded the absence permitted under Appendix EU.

      You can still apply to the EUSS where you can evidence that this extended absence is because coronavirus meant you were prevented from, or advised against, returning to the UK within 12 months and for a period thereafter.

      This includes (but is not limited to) where you can show you were:
      • ill with coronavirus
      • in quarantine, self-isolating or shielding in accordance with local public health guidance on coronavirus
      • caring for a family member affected by coronavirus
      • prevented from returning earlier to the UK due to travel disruption caused by coronavirus
      • advised by your university or employer not to return to the UK, and to continue studying or working remotely from your home country, due to coronavirus
      This means that where, after an absence of 12 months for an ‘important reason’, coronavirus meant you were prevented from, or advised against, returning to the UK within 12 months, you will be treated as not having broken your continuous qualifying period of residence.

      The period of absence exceeding 12 months will not be counted towards your continuous qualifying period of residence under the EU Settlement Scheme. Your continuous qualifying period will be paused from the point your absence reached 12 months and will resume from the point you return to the UK.

      Where you hold pre-settled status, and this is due to expire before you can complete the continuous qualifying period of residence required for you to be eligible for settled status, you will be able to apply for a further grant of pre-settled status.

      I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

      Comment


      • #4
        Absence up to 12 months

        Under Appendix EU, your ‘continuous qualifying period’ of residence will not be broken where you have been absent for a single period of up to 12 months for an ‘important reason’.

        Examples of an ‘important reason’ include (but are not limited to):
        • pregnancy
        • childbirth
        • serious illness
        • study
        • vocational raining
        • an overseas posting
        It also includes where you have been absent because of coronavirus, where you can show you were:
        • ill with coronavirus
        • in quarantine, self-isolating or shielding in accordance with local public health guidance on coronavirus
        • caring for a family member affected by coronavirus
        • prevented from returning earlier to the UK due to travel disruption caused by coronavirus
        • advised by your university that, due to coronavirus, your course was moved to remote learning and you were advised or allowed to return to your home country to study remotely
        • advised by your university or employer not to return to the UK, and to continue studying or working remotely from your home country
        • absent from the UK for another reason relating to coronavirus, for example, you left or remained outside the UK because there were fewer coronavirus restrictions elsewhere; you preferred to work or run a business from home overseas; or you would have been unemployed in the UK and preferred to rely on support from family or friends overseas
        This means you can rely on any coronavirus related reason (including where you chose to leave or remain outside the UK because of the pandemic) as being an ‘important reason’ permitting an absence of up to 12 months. In these circumstances, you will not have broken your continuous qualifying period of residence.



        I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

        Comment


        • #5
          Absence not intended to exceed 6 months which did not exceed 12 months

          If you intended to be absent for no more than 6 months, but exceeded this because of coronavirus, you will not be treated as exceeding the absence permitted under Appendix EU.

          Where you have not been absent for a single period of more than 12 months, you can still apply to the EUSS where you can evidence that this extended absence is because of coronavirus.

          This includes (but is not limited to) where you can show you were:
          • ill with coronavirus
          • in quarantine, self-isolating or shielding in accordance with local public health guidance on coronavirus
          • caring for a family member affected by coronavirus
          • prevented from returning earlier to the UK due to travel disruption caused by coronavirus
          • advised by your university that, due to coronavirus, your course was moved to remote learning and you were advised or allowed to return to your home country to study remotely
          • advised by your university or employer not to return to the UK, and to continue studying or working remotely from your home country, due to coronavirus
          • absent from the UK for another reason relating to coronavirus, for example, you left or remained outside the UK because there were fewer coronavirus restrictions elsewhere; you preferred to work or run a business from home overseas; or you would have been unemployed in the UK and preferred to rely on support from family or friends overseas
          This means you can rely on any coronavirus related reason (including where you chose to leave or remain outside the UK because of the pandemic) as the basis for requiring an absence of more than 6 months and up to 12 months. In these circumstances, you will be treated as not having broken your continuous qualifying period of residence.


          I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

          Comment


          • #6
            Examples of evidence to be provided

            In addition to the other evidence required to apply to the EUSS, you will also need to provide evidence of the length of, and reason for, any absence relating to coronavirus that you wish to rely on.

            Examples of acceptable evidence include (but are not limited to):
            • used travel tickets confirming the dates you left the UK and returned
            • confirmation of flight cancellations detailing the dates and times
            • doctor’s letter confirming you contracted coronavirus
            • doctor’s letter confirming you were identified as vulnerable and advised to shield
            • email or letter confirming you, or a person you were living with, received a positive coronavirus test result
            • official letter confirming you were in coronavirus quarantine
            • doctor’s letter confirming your family member, who you have been caring for, contracted coronavirus or was identified as vulnerable and advised to shield
            • email or letter confirming your family member, who you have been caring for, received a positive coronavirus test result
            • letter from a university advising you that, due to coronavirus, your course was moved to remote learning and you were advised or allowed to return to your home country to study remotely
            • letter from a university or employer advising you not to return to the UK, and to continue studying or working remotely from your home country, due to coronavirus
            • letter or other evidence from you accounting for your absence for another reason relating to coronavirus, for example, you left or remained outside the UK because there were fewer coronavirus restrictions elsewhere; you preferred to work or run a business from home overseas; or you would have been unemployed in the UK and preferred to rely on support from family or friends overseas
            You can provide a copy of these documents. We may ask you to send us the original documents if we need to see them.

            You may also be contacted by a caseworker to provide more information or evidence to show how you have been affected by coronavirus. The caseworker will give you a reasonable opportunity in which to provide this before making a decision on your application.

            I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

            Comment


            • #7
              Alternative evidence of identity and nationality

              You may be able to use alternative evidence of identity and nationality, or (if you are applying from outside the UK) of entitlement to apply from outside the UK.

              This is permitted if you are unable to obtain or produce a passport or national identity card due to circumstances beyond your control, or due to compelling practical or compassionate reasons, arising, in either case, from the impact of coronavirus.

              For example, the closure of, or inability to travel to, an embassy or high commission may prevent you from renewing your passport or national identity card, or may mean you cannot finalise an application for a new document. These may be acceptable reasons to provide alternative evidence of identity and nationality or entitlement to apply from outside the UK.

              You’ll need to provide alternative evidence of your identity and nationality or entitlement to apply from outside the UK. These can include:
              • a document previously issued by the Home Office
              • an expired passport or national identity card
              • an official document issued by the authorities of your country of origin or of the UK which confirms your identity and nationality
              A paper application form is available if you need to provide alternative evidence of your identity and nationality or entitlement to apply from outside the UK.

              If you need to submit your application using a paper application form, you can request a form by contacting the EU Settlement Resolution Centre. You’ll need to explain why you need one when you contact us.

              If you had to send your documents by post, you can use an online form to request them back, see: Document return.

              Each application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and caseworkers will adopt a flexible approach when considering the evidence you have provided and apply discretion where appropriate.

              You may be contacted for further information or evidence to support your application where the caseworker feels this is necessary.

              You can still make a late application showing reasonable grounds for having missed the deadline. See: Late applications.

              I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

              Comment


              • #8
                Be prepared!

                If you expect to rely on the above provisions at some point in the future, to prove you are eligible for settled status, you need to make sure you keep proof of the restrictions and general situation being in place at the time. You may want to:
                • Do screenshots of the relevant government pages, both from the UK government and the country where you have spent your time during the pandemic;
                • Save web pages as PDFs and keep these safe for future use and/or print off the relevant pages
                • Scan or take pictures of any newspaper articles regarding the Covid situation that could affect your return to the UK
                • Save online articles referring to the Covid situation
                • Keep any emails with things like flight cancellations or communications from your employer, school, university, etc. regarding remote work or study provisions
                • Save web pages from your company, school or university intranet regarding these provisions
                • Keep any medical evidence concerning yourself or your family members, for example, of any medical conditions that may put you at higher risk, especially when travelling
                Although everyone is talking about Covid at the moment, by the time you apply for settled status in 2025/2026, this will all be ancient history and you may not be able to retrieve most of the above information easily. Web pages are usually updated just by overwriting the previous page with the new content, without archiving the old content, so you need to make sure you are able to prove the current situation in the future, when hardly anyone will remember the details.

                I am the Site Manager and Webmaster, please refer to our Admin Team, Roles and Responsibilities. If you think we have helped in any way, please support us so we can keep helping others secure their status, it is now more important than ever now EEA nationals are subject to the same immigration requirements as non EEA nationals and require proof of valid status in the UK.

                Comment

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