October 01, 2020

EU Nationals Beware! Time Away From the U.K. Can Jeopardize Your Pre-Settled Status

For most people, the EU Settlement Scheme has largely lived up to the government’s promise of being generous and straightforward, but confusion over permitted absences is likely to cause some trouble. In particular, EU nationals who hold Pre-settled Status should be aware of the absence rules, particularly if they want to remain in the U.K. and plan to apply for Settled Status after five years.

Under current rules, if an EU national with Pre-settled Status is outside the U.K. for more than six months in any 12-month period during the five years it takes to qualify for Settled Status, they will generally have to start the five years all over again. And if they return after 31 December 2020, they may lose the right to upgrade to settled status entirely. Which means that these individuals will need to apply for a visa after 1 January 2021 under the new immigration rules.

In this podcast, Faegre Drinker’s Hodon Anastasi takes a close look at how absence limits could impact EU nationals currently completing this five-year “continuous qualifying period,” including:

  • How are absences calculated? How does the Home Office define “six months”? And what does a “rolling” period of 12 months mean?
  • What happens if you exceed or are going to exceed the absences limit?
  • Can we expect lenience from the Home Office on absences related to or exacerbated by the coronavirus?

The Faegre Drinker Immigration Law Podcast is a podcast all about immigration and only about immigration. Each episode will tackle a timely topic in immigration law, with the aim of making these complicated and often misunderstood issues less daunting, more accessible, and maybe even a little fun. Tune in for future episodes on the latest news, developments and challenges in the world of immigration law — and thank you for listening!

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