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Coronavirus (COVID-19): EU Settlement Scheme - Guidance

11 June 2021 Grace McGill Blog

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): EU Settlement Scheme - guidance for applicants either in or outside the UK who have periods of extended absences due to restrictions associated with coronavirus.

Absence of up to 12 months for an ‘important reason’

Under Appendix EU, your ‘continuous qualifying period’ of residence will not be broken where you have been absent for a single period of up to 12 months for an ‘important reason’. Examples include pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting.

An ‘important reason’ also includes (but is not limited to) where you can show you were:

ill with coronavirus

in quarantine, self-isolating or shielding in accordance with local public health guidance on coronavirus

caring for a family member affected by coronavirus

prevented from returning earlier to the UK due to travel disruption caused by coronavirus

advised by your university that, due to coronavirus, your course was moved to remote learning and you were advised or allowed to return to your home country to study remotely

advised by your university or employer not to return to the UK, and to continue studying or working remotely from your home country

absent from the UK for another reason relating to coronavirus, for example, you left or remained outside the UK because there were fewer coronavirus restrictions elsewhere; you preferred to work or run a business from home overseas; or you would have been unemployed in the UK and preferred to rely on support from family or friends overseas

This means you can rely on any coronavirus related reason (including where you chose to leave or remain outside the UK because of the pandemic) as being an ‘important reason’ permitting an absence of up to 12 months. In these circumstances, you will not have broken your continuous qualifying period of residence.

Absence of more than 6 months in 12 month period

Under Appendix EU, your ‘continuous qualifying period’ of residence will not be broken where, for any reason, you have been absent for more than 6 months in any 12-month period.

However, if you intended to be absent for no more than 6 months, but exceeded this because of coronavirus, you will not be treated as exceeding the absence permitted under Appendix EU.

This means you can rely on any coronavirus related reason (including where you chose to leave or remain outside the UK because of the pandemic) as the basis for requiring an absence of more than 6 months and up to 12 months. In these circumstances, you will be treated as not having broken your continuous qualifying period of residence.

Absence exceeding 12 months

If you have been absent for an ‘important reason’ – whether because of coronavirus or for another important reason – but your absence has exceeded 12 months because coronavirus meant you were prevented from, or advised against, returning to the UK earlier, you have exceeded the absence permitted under Appendix EU.

You can still apply to the EUSS where you can evidence that this extended absence is because coronavirus meant you were prevented from, or advised against, returning to the UK within 12 months and for a period thereafter.

The period of absence exceeding 12 months will not be counted towards your continuous qualifying period of residence under the EU Settlement Scheme. Your continuous qualifying period will be paused from the point your absence reached 12 months and will resume from the point you return to the UK.

Where you hold pre-settled status, and this is due to expire before you can complete the continuous qualifying period of residence required for you to be eligible for settled status, you will be able to apply for a further grant of pre-settled status.

2nd Period of absence due to Coronavirus

Where you have already been absent from the UK for up to 12 months for an ‘important reason’ and now need to be so for a second time, and one of those absences is because of coronavirus , you can still apply to the EUSS where you can evidence that one of those periods of absence of up to 12 months is because of coronavirus. You can rely on any coronavirus related reason (including where you chose to leave or remain outside the UK because of the pandemic) as the basis for requiring a second period of absence of up to 12 months for an ‘important reason’. In these circumstances, you will be treated as not having broken your continuous qualifying period of residence but

In these circumstances, that excess absence will not be counted towards your continuous qualifying period of residence under the EU Settlement Scheme as set out above.

Up to the first 6 months of the second period of absence will be counted towards your continuous qualifying period of residence under the EU Settlement Scheme, where the period counted means you have not been absent for more than 6 months in any 12-month period. Your continuous qualifying period will be paused from that point and will resume from the point you return to the UK.

Where you hold pre-settled status, and this is due to expire before you can complete the continuous qualifying period of residence required for you to be eligible for settled status, you will be able to apply for a further grant of pre-settled status.

Source : Dated 10th June 2021

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-eu-settlement-scheme-guidance-for-applicants

 

 

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