There are now just two months left to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to secure the right to live and work in the UK, businesses have been warned.
The report comes shortly before the 30 June 2021 deadline, after which workers may be forced to return to their home countries should they not apply in time.
Under the scheme, EU, European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss citizens who lived in the UK before the end of the transition period will be offered permanent residence – providing they meet the criteria to stay.
The application process is free, but applicants must demonstrate that they are in the UK as a worker, student, or “self-sufficient person”, as well as provide a form of official ID and their National Insurance (NI) number if they have one.
If a worker has lived in the UK for longer than five years, they may apply for “settled status”, while those who have lived in the UK for less than five years can only apply for “pre-settled status”.
If you are an employer, you should ensure that your European workers have applied and have been awarded settled or pre-settled status by 30 June, or risk breaking the law.
You should encourage your employees to apply as soon as possible to avoid uncertainty and offer assistance where possible. However, you cannot insist that they apply and cannot insist on receiving proof of status until after the deadline.
A new digital system will be launched after 30 June 2021 to enable employers to check proof of status.
Commenting on the scheme, Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said: “My message to European citizens and their family members is simple – apply now and join the millions who have already been through the simple process to secure their status.
“There is plenty of support available and the new funding announced today means no stone will be left unturned in ensuring everyone gets the help they need.”
According to the latest statistics, the EU Settlement Scheme has now received over five million applications, but millions more workers are yet to apply.
To learn more about the EU Settlement Scheme, please click here.