The UK Settlement Scheme for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens is now open for applications. UK Screen Alliance is encouraging all VFX, Post Production and Animation workers who are EU citizens and are either currently in the UK 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 UK for the long term, as it will give them a considerable advantage in gaining jobs in the UK in future.
EU citizens who have already been in the UK for five consecutive qualifying years are entitled to Settled Status allowing them to live and work as usual in the UK 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 UK after Brexit until they build up the necessary five qualifying years to achieve Settled status.
After December 31st 2020, it is highly likely that the UK will introduce a new visa system for EU citizens who want to enter the UK to live and work. EU 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 EU when it comes to obtaining jobs in the UK, 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 UK for more than 6 months in any 12-month period. Once Settled Status is achieved, an EU citizen can be absent from the UK for up to 5 years before they lose their Settled status.
It is also possible for EU citizens normally resident in the UK to get Settled status if they start work or self-employment in another EU country and have lived and worked or been self-employed in the UK continuously for 3 years beforehand and usually return to their home in the UK 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 EU citizens currently in the UK to apply whether they intend to stay in the UK for the long-term or not. This will keep their options open for their future employment in the UK, providing they spend the required amount of time in the UK each year.
For further detailed information on Settled or Pre-Settled Status and how to apply click here