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New Covid provisions for EU Settlement applications have been published. They include Provisions allowing an absence of over 12 months for people with pre-settled status, a provision for a second absence of up to 12 months and for choosing to spend time out of the UK over Covid related issues

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Applicants who do not meet the lawful residence criteria for citizenship

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  • IMPORTANT PLEASE READ Applicants who do not meet the lawful residence criteria for citizenship

    One of the requirements for citizenship is to have been "lawfully resident" in the 3 or 5 year period preceding the application, 3 years for applicants married to a British spouse, otherwise 5 years.

    Applicants relying on settled status for their citizenship application should have been lawfully resident during the time before they were granted settled or pre-settled status.

    Once you are granted settled of pre-settled status, you are lawfully resident under that status and no longer need to work, be self-employed, nor have CSI for periods of studies or self-sufficiency.

    Please refer to this post for full details about this requirement: Lawful residence for applicants relying on settled status

    Applicants relying on a PR card, old ILR or ILR obtained under the Windrush Scheme, that is, ILR other than settled status under the EUSS, do not need to show this.

    Non EEA family members relying on settled status to apply need to show their sponsor was lawfully resident under EU rules, that means it is the sponsor who should have been working, self-employed, had CSI or had acquired PR status, rather than the non EEA national themselves.

    This is not a new requirement that started this year, it has always been a requirement for citizenship applicants, only it had not been clarified how it would work for applicants with settled status.

    Please note that CSI isn't a requirement for everyone to be lawfully resident, there's been a lot of confusion about this issue. CSI is only required for periods spent as a full-time student (not working) or self-sufficient person, when the applicant didn't have another right to reside. CSI isn't required for periods of employment, self-employment nor unemployment.
    What happens if you don't meet the requirement?

    So far, we have not seen any refusals on this forum, however, the Home Office only updated their guidance and AN form in May 2020, to clarify this requirement. I have seen refusals mentioned elsewhere but these have, so far, been unverified. We have members who applied before the updates and their applications were successful, however, we cannot assume this will be the case now the forms have been updated to require applicants to tick a box saying they will be supplying evidence of CSI for periods spent as students or self-sufficient persons.

    If an application is refused, the entire fee is non-refundable.

    Our recommendation for those applicants who do not meet this criteria, is to wait until they can satisfy the lawful residence requirement, which can be counting from the date when they started working of being self-employed, or else from when they were granted settled or pre-settled status.

    Prospective applicants should be aware that there is no need to be a British citizen for any practical purposes, and that settled status gives full access to everything, including benefits, healthcare, council assistance, etc., on the same terms as British nationals enjoy, with the exception of voting rights.
    Settled status v citizenship
    Settled status British citizensihp
    Valid indefinitely, lapses after spending 5 continuous years out of the UK, but a visit can reset the clock, as long as it's well evidenced. Citizenship is forever and doesn't lapse. regardless of how long you stay abroad. Recommended if you expect to spend very long periods abroad, then returning to live here.
    Can be revoked if the holder commits a criminal offence resulting in a prison sentence of 12 months or longer. Only revoked in extreme cases, such as those involving treason or terrorism.
    No voting rights Full voting rights
    British citizens will also need to satisfy residence requirements, such as ordinary residence or habitual residence, for the purpose of benefits claims and free NHS non emergency hospital treatment, if returning after a long period living abroad.
    What if I instruct a lawyer and/or write a strong cover letter?
    Lawyers can help with applications where the applicant's circumstances are complex and/or it is necessary to rely on discretion. However, merely instructing a lawyer will not guarantee a successful application, nor can a lawyer change the fact that an applicant does not meet the criteria. We have a team of lawyers who offer private legal advice, such advice would incur a fee: Lawyers

    Neither the forum admins, nor our lawyers, can recommend taking a gamble with such large sums of money, when there's a chance the application may fail.
    While a strong cover letter can help in certain cases, where the applicant seeks discretion, for example, with excess absences, there aren't many arguments that can be put forward regarding lack of CSI during periods of studies or self-sufficiency, other than not having been aware of the requirement, and this argument would be the one used by virtually every applicant who fails to meet the criteria. If the Home Office agreed to grant discretion to one on these grounds, then they would have to do so with everyone, in which case they would not have the requirement in place to start with.

    In view of all of the above, our recommendation for those who do not meet the criteria is to wait until they do.

    Please note that, if you make a new post about this same issue, you will get the same answer as before.

    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 as the deadline approaches.