The U.K. Settlement Scheme for E.U., E.E.A. and Swiss citizens is now open for applications. UK Screen Alliance is encouraging all VFX, post-production and animation workers who are E.U. citizens and are either currently in the U.K. or arrive before the ending of free movement, to apply for Settled or Pre-Settled status whether or not they intend to stay in the U.K. for the long term, as it will give them a considerable advantage in gaining jobs in the U.K. in future.
E.U. citizens who have already been in the U.K. for five consecutive qualifying years are entitled to Settled Status, allowing them to live and work as usual in the U.K. after Brexit. Those that don’t yet have five qualifying years can receive Pre-settled Status and will be able to live and work in the U.K. after Brexit until they build up the necessary five qualifying years to achieve Settled status.
After December 31, 2020, it is highly likely that the U.K. will introduce a new visa system for E.U. citizens who want to enter the U.K. to live and work. E.U. citizens with Settled or Pre-settled status will not require these visas and will be at a considerable advantage over new workers arriving from the E.U. when it comes to obtaining jobs in the U.K., as employers will not need to sponsor an expensive visa for them, such as the proposed Skilled Worker Visa.
A qualifying year toward obtaining Settled status is defined as being resident in the U.K. for more than six months in any 12-month period. Once Settled Status is achieved, an E.U. citizen can be absent from the U.K. for up to five years before they lose their Settled status.
It is also possible for E.U. citizens normally resident in the U.K. to get Settled Status if they start work or self-employment in another E.U. country and have lived and worked or been self-employed in the U.K. continuously for three years beforehand and usually return to their home in the U.K. once a week.
The ease of qualification for Pre-Settled and Settled Status and the fact that the application process is now free-of-charge means that there is no real downside for E.U. citizens currently in the U.K. to apply whether they intend to stay in the U.K. for the long-term or not. This will keep their options open for their future employment in the U.K., providing they spend the required amount of time in the U.K. each year.
For further detailed information on Settled or Pre-Settled Status and how to apply, please see https://eucitizensrights.campaign.gov.uk/
E.U. citizens can also get support with any questions about their application from the E.U. Settlement Resolution Centre.
[Source: UK Screen Alliance]