More than 250,000 Spaniards have already applied for the status of “settled” in the United Kingdom

  • The procedure is necessary to be able to maintain your rights in the country as up to now

  • The process to achieve this status is suffering delays due to the pandemic

We want kedis“This is the phrase repeated on numerous occasions by the ministers of the British government to the citizens of the European Union (EU) residing in the country. Although the number of Europeans moving to the UK has gone down since Brexit referendum In 2016, Juan García and Álex Martínez decided that same year to go to Cambridge for learn english and find a job and they have not returned. “The Job opportunities they were many more than those I found in Spain “, explains Juan. 2019, EU citizens were around 3.7 million, the 5.5% of the inhabitants in the United Kingdom, according to National Statistics Office of the country, most of them resident in England.

It was in 2019 when the government launched the settlement status The settlement scheme by which the citizens of Switzerland, the European Economic Area and the European Union who reside in the country since before 2021 they could keep all their rights as they were before Brexit became official, regardless of the existence or not of a Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. This plan is still in effect today and the deadline to achieve it ends on June 30, 2021. Whoever did not obtain it then, will lose the rights that they have enjoyed until now.

The procedure is free

We don’t know what it really means”Insists María Herrera, who has been living in Liverpool. PEditing this status is free, but at first the Government demanded the payment of fees to get it. “It was quite unorganized from the beginning ”, María Querol tells us. However, all claim that the vast majority of their acquaintances they have already registered, if only for afraid.

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For now, more than five million people have requested to be registered as “settled“, title reserved for those with more than five years (settled), The how “preasentados“for those who arrived later (presettled). “This is the largest plan of its kind in the history of the UK and it means that European citizens and their families they will still be able to call the UK home“, indicated the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel. Of those five million, 250,000 are Spanish who had requested it before September 30, the majority, something More than 50%, obtained the status of presettled.

Nationals of member countries of the Union that have arrived in the country from January 1 this year they will have to follow a different procedure and pay a visa required to be able to stay legally in the UK. A new system of points depending on whether you have a job offer, job qualification or level of English.

The difficulties of settlement scheme

Get this accreditation it’s not complicated, is done by the website of the Ministry of the Interior or through a application on mobile, you have to upload all the required documents. It is the administration that decides what category to assign and within two weeks a letter is received in which the assigned category is detailed, although deadlines have been lengthened from the beginning due to the large number of requests received.

The situation caused by the covid pandemic has made the procedures derived from the Brexit take a backseat. Last April, the British Home Office already reported that this process would be delayed, but with the confinements that are still in force in the country and the increase in requests due to the proximity of the deadline, these delays are increasing.

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One of the main complaints, however, is the way prove that you have the document, since there is no one physical accreditation to prove it. Alex says that although he has been in and out of the country several times since he had it, never needed to show it. For her part, María Querol explains that it is a digital procedure relatively simple in which the reason for which it is needed and on the same page you can download the documents for, for example, present at work or rent a flat. From the European associations they are asked to give carnets, as is being done in the EU with British citizens, so that the ID be simpler.

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Dual nationality

In a few months, Juan will be living in the United Kingdom for five years and will apply for the condition of settled. In addition, it will also ask British nationality. He is not the only one who considers it, since having nationality is a requirement that is required to many of the aid that the State gives and that more and more people need for the complicated pandemic situation. On the contrary, Maria declares that she did not even want to change her last name when she got married. “I want to continue living under the range of cultures that the Union gives us, Unity in diversity“, ends.

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