Proving Your UK Immigration Status if you are an EU National
It isn’t surprising that many EU nationals are asking UK immigration solicitors how they can prove their UK immigration status after Brexit and the end of free movement. Some EU citizens go so far as to say that they feel vulnerable because they don’t think they have the physical paperwork to prove that they are entitled to live and work in the UK after the end of the Brexit transition period. In this article, our UK immigration solicitors look at how you can prove your UK immigration status if you are an EU national living and working in the UK.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors
EU nationals living in the UK
The first question for immigration lawyers when talking to EU nationals about their immigration status and their right to live and to work in the UK is to check if they have secured or have a pending application for:
- A work visa, business visa or family visa – this route is only normally necessary if the EU national arrived in the UK after 11 pm on the 31 December 2020, after the end of the Brexit transition period and the cut-off date for free movement of EU nationals.
- Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
- Pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you think it is too late to apply for pre-settled status or settled status our individual immigration lawyers can advise on whether you have the grounds to make a late application to the scheme.
If you entered the UK after the 31 December 2020 and therefore aren’t eligible to apply for pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may still be able to regularise your immigration status by applying for a work visa (such as a skilled worker visa) or family visa (such as a spouse visa or partner visa). It is best to check your immigration status and your best options as quickly as you can.
Can an EU National with pre-settled status or settled status get a biometric residence permit to prove their immigration status?
There is something comforting in carrying a card that says you have a right to work and live in the UK so settled status solicitors get a lot of enquiries from EU nationals wanting to apply for a biometric residence card. The answer is that an EU national with pre-settled status or settled status can't apply for a biometric residence permit. The government rationale is that if you are an EU national with pre-settled status or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme you can prove your immigration status by using the identity check tool on your smart phone.
Whilst most immigration solicitors are very tech savvy, they do empathise with EU nationals who are not or with people who simply prefer to have a card or physical document to prove their immigration status as well as the ability to carry out an online check.
To use the online immigration check service to view and prove your immigration status you will need to:
- Provide the number on the identity document that you used when you applied for pre-settled status or settled status.
- Provide your date of birth.
- Receive a code by text or email and use that code to log onto the online service.
Viewing and proving your immigration status as an EU national living in the UK
The way to check and prove your immigration status in the UK is to use the government online service. The first step is to check whether you, as an EU national, can use the government online tool. The tool should be available for you to use if:
- You have applied for settled status.
- You have applied for pre-settled status.
- You have applied for a visa from the Home Office and you scanned your identity documents on your phone using the immigration identity check service.
You can't use the online tool if you have a biometric residence permit or a vignette in your passport.
The government online tool allows you to:
- Receive a share code – this share code can be shared with others, for example your employer, to prove your immigration status for a right to work check .
- Update personal details - this updates your Home Office immigration record.
- Check your immigration rights - the check enables you to ascertain that you have a right to work or a right to rent in the UK or to claim state benefits.
Proving your right to work in the UK
If you are subject to UK immigration controls you can prove your right to work in the UK by using an online government tool provided you have a:
- Biometric residence permit number or
- Biometric residence card number or
- Passport or
- National identity card.
If you give permission to a prospective employer then they can use the tool to check that you have the right to work in the UK and to see if there are any conditions on your visa or immigration status. Permission is given through using a share code. Under UK law, all UK employers must conduct a right to work check before they allow a new recruit to commence employment with their company. This law applies whether you are an EU national, from a non-EEA country or you are a British citizen or have settled status in the UK.
Proving your right to rent a home
In addition to the need to prove your right to work you may need to prove that you have a right to rent property as the law in England says landlords must check that all prospective tenants have a legal right to rent before the tenant enters into a tenancy agreement.
There is a government online service that can be used to check your right to rent. You can use if you:
- Have settled status or
- Have pre-settled status or
- Have a biometric residence permit or
- Have a biometric residence card or
- Have applied for a visa and scanned your identity document on your phone using ‘UK Immigration: ID Check’ app.
Having problems proving your immigration status an EU national in the UK?
If you are having problems proving your immigration status as an EU national then it is best to take expert legal advice from immigration solicitors on your status and, if you need to make a late pre-settled status or settled status application or Home Office visa application, on your best route to secure your immigration status as quickly and efficiently as possible.
UK Online and London Based Immigration Solicitors