As the Brexit uncertainty is now set to continue into the next academic year, we thought it might be helpful to explain how applying for pre-settled status might provide some of our European families with some reassurance.
The concern now appears to be that the latest deadline – 31 October 2019 – could fall within the half term.
If a European pupil flies home for half term will they have a problem when they return after 31 October 2019?
The answer at the moment is ‘No’ as the rights and status of EU, EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021 – if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.
However, there is some uncertainty about what might happen if we leave without a deal. If an EU pupil has been granted pre-settled status prior to 31 October 2019, then it is likely that returning to the UK after the 31 October 2019 in a no-deal situation will be less complicated.
The EU Settlement Scheme (now free to apply) enables EU citizens to apply for the right to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021. If a pupil in a UK boarding school applies they will, upon application, fall into one of two application categories:
The status will depend upon how long the pupil has been living in the UK when they apply.
The majority of our pupils will fall into the pre-settled category – in other words, they don’t have 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK but they have started living in the UK before 31 December 2020 (or by the date the UK leaves the EU without a deal).
The benefit to our pupils will be that if granted pre-settled status, they will be able to continue to study in the UK and travel in and out of the UK for a further five years from the date they receive their pre-settled status.
Without pre-settled status, there is a possibility that they may have to complete entry forms upon re-entering the UK after 31 October 2019. This could be daunting if they are travelling alone. Or if they are part of a returning school trip, it could hold up the entire group’s passage through immigration.
Schools can apply online for pre-settled status on behalf of a pupil.
A range of documentation will be required – but all of it is very straightforward and might include:
The documents or photos can be scanned and uploaded using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app for Android (as long as the pupil’s passport or ID card is biometric).
Academic Families cannot apply on your behalf. Our recommendation is you discuss any concerns directly with your child’s school, but do feel free to contact us with questions.