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Self Employment Income Support Scheme (Covid-19)

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  • Self Employment Income Support Scheme (Covid-19)

    Hi, I’m a Belgian citizen living in the UK for the last 10 years. I have settled status and work as a self-employed sole trader.

    As most freelancers, my work has been heavily affected by the Covid-19 crisis. I want to apply for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme by the UK government. HMRC confirmed I am eligible. However, I want to apply for UK citizenship one day. Will claiming this grant affect my immigration status or future ability to apply for UK citizenship? I’m not planning on applying for citizenship within the next year.

    I can’t find any information about this anywhere, apart from this on the HMRC website: ‘Grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.’

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  • #2
    Originally posted by fleursdumal View Post
    Hi, I’m a Belgian citizen living in the UK for the last 10 years. I have settled status and work as a self-employed sole trader.

    As most freelancers, my work has been heavily affected by the Covid-19 crisis. I want to apply for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme by the UK government. HMRC confirmed I am eligible. However, I want to apply for UK citizenship one day. Will claiming this grant affect my immigration status or future ability to apply for UK citizenship? I’m not planning on applying for citizenship within the next year.
    Morning,

    The short answer is simply: NO.

    The long answer is here: Lawful Residence for applicants relying on Settled Status - UKCEN Citizenship and Residence for European Nationals and their families

    You will find there are no financial considerations for citizenship. The reason why the forms ask for employment history is to do with the good character requirement, to ensure that people have paid their taxes if and when they were due, as noted here: Employment history - UKCEN Citizenship and Residence for European Nationals and their families

    There are no questions about public funds on the AN form, none, since this is not relevant to the application.

    Also note that having settled status, a.k.a. ILR, means being free from any restrictions, including those related to public funds. It should also be noted that EEA nationals, even without settled status, are not subject to "no recourse to public funds" like some people on certain visa categories may be, that means that, although some EEA nationals with pre-settled status or without EUSS status may fail the residence test for the purpose of benefits claims, this only means not being eligible for the benefit at the time and has no impact on their immigration status, nor on any future applications, but this doesn't apply to people with settled status which, in itself, gives you a right to reside for the purpose of claiming benefits.

    Furthermore, the special COVID19 support schemes are not benefits, they are intended to stop what would, otherwise, be a viable business, from going bust due to the virus situation. Think about it like the so-called "bailouts", which governments have done with certain companies, notably financial institutions during the financial crisis of 2008, only in a much smaller scale. The principle is the same: the government supporting businesses so they can carry on trading once this is all over.

    Originally posted by fleursdumal View Post
    I can’t find any information about this anywhere, apart from this on the HMRC website: ‘Grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can claim the grant on all categories of work visa.’

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    EEA nationals and their family members are not subject to any category of work visa to start with, so this isn't at all relevant.

    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.

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