Last year in July, we informed you about the planned changes to the EUSS scheme. New Immigration Rules, laid in Parliament on the 17th of July of 2023, confirmed that from September 2023, people with pre-settled status under the EUSS will automatically have their status extended by 2 years before it expires if they have not obtained settled status. The process will be automated by the Home Office and reflected in the person’s digital status. They will be notified of the extension directly. This will ensure that nobody loses their immigration status if they do not apply to switch from pre-settled to settled status. The Home Office also intends to take steps to automatically convert as many eligible pre-settled status holders as possible to settled status once they are eligible for it, without them needing to make an application. The Home Office announced that during 2024 automated checks of pre-settled status will establish their ongoing continuous residence in the UK. Safeguards will be in place to ensure that settled status is not wrongly granted.
However, while we are already in 2024, the Home Office seems to be slow to implement the announced changes. There has been no further guidance on when exactly most pre-settled status holders can expect their status to be extender or converted into settled status. It is important to understand the differences between pre-settled and settled status and its implications on your ability to leave the UK for an extended period of time without risking losing your status. Your EU status will also have an impact on future mortgage applications.
If you have not received notification from the Home Office that your pre-settled status has been extended and you are not yet eligible for settled status, it is advisable that you make an application to extend your pre-settled status to avoid losing your residence rights.
Continuous residence can be difficult to evidence, so it is recommended that you start keeping records as you go. Pre-settled status holders should maintain residence and employment records to demonstrate their continuous residence in the UK in case government records do not contain sufficient data to show their eligibility for settled status under the EUSS.
Contact us if you would like advice on how you are affected by the recent immigration changes or would like to extend your pre-settled status.