EU nationals make whistle-stop visits to UK for pre-settled status

EU nationals are making whistle-stop visits to the UK to smooth their path to pre-settled status, says City law firm Bates Wells.

For those EU nationals who plan on moving to the UK after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December, visits of as little as 24 hours or less are sufficient to qualify for residency purposes under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), provided the person ‘makes a footprint’ during their time in the UK, Bates Wells says.

To be eligible, EU nationals must visit the UK by 11pm on 31 December and show proof of their visit such as boarding passes, credit card statements and hotel bookings. Formal notifications regarding the purpose of their visit, such as letters from organisations in the UK if they are attending for business meetings, will also help with the application for pre-settled status.

Chetal Patel, partner at Bates Wells, says: “For businesses without sponsorship licences, bringing EU nationals including Swiss nationals to the UK for business meetings ahead of 31 December is a cost-effective solution to meeting one of the eligibility requirements for pre-settled status.

“Individuals need to carefully plan even the shortest visit, ensuring that they retain proof of their stay. This documentation forms a vital part of the EUSS application.”

Also, Patel says, “they should be mindful of the fact that if they are to be successful in applying for pre-settled status, there are other requirements to meet. This includes being resident in the UK for at least six months in any 12-month period”.

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