• Settled Status

    21 August 2019

    Dear Constituent,

    Thank you for contacting me about settled status.

    I know you have concerns about the future of EU citizens in the UK, but while it is not for me to comment on any individual case, I can assure you that the fair deal reached by the UK and EU Commission means that EU citizens and UK nationals will have their rights protected so that they can carry on living their lives broadly as they do now.

    The new system for obtaining settled status is streamlined, user-friendly and draws on existing Government data to minimise the burden on applicants to provide evidence. Applications will not be refused on minor technicalities without the applicant being given the opportunity to rectify them, and caseworkers considering applications will exercise discretion in favour of the applicant where appropriate. As a result, the Home Office has said it expects the vast majority of cases to be granted, with refusals most likely to be because of serious criminality or if the person is not an EU citizen (or family member). Once obtained, people will be able to be absent from the UK for up to five years without losing their settled status. This is more than double the level of absence allowed under current EU law.

    I was very pleased when the then Prime Minister announced that there will be no application fee. Any person who has applied during the pilot phases will have their fee reimbursed. This decision makes clear to EU citizens living in the UK that their contribution to our society is deeply valued and this will not change regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.

    The Withdrawal Agreement protects the existing rights to equal treatment and non-discrimination for EU citizens residing in the UK before the end of the implementation period and vice versa. EU regulations on social security coordination apply to individuals in the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement. This means that citizens who have moved between the UK and the EU before the end of the implementation period are not disadvantaged accessing pensions, benefits and other forms of social security such as reciprocal healthcare.   

    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Mel Stride MP

    MP for Central Devon