Expert London EU Settlement Scheme Solicitors

If you are an EU or EEA national, our immigration experts can help you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and secure the right to continue living in the UK.

As an EU citizen or an individual from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you need permission to live in the UK following Brexit. While the deadline for most people to apply has passed, you may still be able to request pre-settled or settled status if you or a member of your family were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, provided that you have reasonable grounds for not applying by the deadline of 30 June 2021.

We can go through the criteria for making a late application with you and advise you on the best grounds on which to apply. We will also make sure that you are eligible and that your application includes all necessary documentation in support.

With many years of experience in the immigration sector, particularly the former EEA Regulations, we will ensure that your application is as strong as possible, giving you the best chance of success.

We offer our services in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

European Settlement Scheme

Our EU Settlement Scheme services

We provide a comprehensive range of services in respect of EU settlement, including:

Advice on eligibility
Identifying the best grounds for you to make a late application
Preparing your application
Compiling the documentation to accompany your application
Applying for settled status if you already hold pre-settled status
Advice and appeal if you have had an application refused

Why choose David Tang for EU Settlement Scheme advice?

At David Tang, we specialise in immigration. Our EU Settlement Scheme solicitors have a strong track record of success in securing pre-settled and settled status for our clients, allowing them to live, work and study in the UK.

As well as exceptional legal expertise in the complex area of immigration and a sound understanding of the way in which the Home Office operates, we also provide a high level of client care. We want our clients to feel supported and protected and if you ask us to represent you, we will do all we can to help you through the process of securing the right to live in the UK.

Our fees are competitive and we will ensure that you have an accurate estimate of the likely costs at the outset.

For more information about our charges, see Immigration Fees.

Criteria for late application to the EU Settlement Scheme

Despite the deadline of 30 June 2021, many individuals will still be able to apply to settle in the UK.

Examples include where:

You are applying to join a family member from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and has settled or pre-settled status, provided you joined them in the UK on or after 1 April 2021
You are applying for your child who was born or adopted in the UK on or after 1 April 2021
You have reasonable grounds for making a late application. There are many circumstances which could qualify as reasonable grounds, including:
Your parent did not apply on your behalf when you were a child
Your parent did not apply on your behalf when you were a child
You are a victim of modern slavery
You have been in an abusive or controlling relationship
You did not have internet access or access to the documents you needed to apply
Coronavirus restrictions prevented you from applying

Family members

If you are residing in the UK and are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, it is possible for you to sponsor a family member to join you or stay in the UK.

In general, you can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK if all of the following are true:

You’re the eligible family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein
Your family relationship began by 31 December 2020
Your family member was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
Your family member will be in the UK when you apply or will travel there with you up to 6 months later

You might still be eligible if you were living with your family member in the UK by 31 December 2020 but they have died, left the UK or you have divorced. This is known as having ‘retained the right of residence’.

If you were living in the UK by 31 December 2020

You can apply for a family permit to return to the UK to join your family member, even if they have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

You must not have broken your ‘continuous residence’. This usually means you must have not left the UK for more than 6 months in any 12-month period, unless you have an important reason. For example, this could be because of childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training, an overseas work posting or coronavirus (COVID-19). We would review your circumstances and advise on the likelihood of your exceptional reasons being accepted.

Children who were born or adopted after 31 December 2020 may also be eligible.

People from Northern Ireland

Unlike the previous EEA regulations, the EUSS allows special provisions for people from Northern Ireland who may also be able to sponsor family members to join them in the UK. However, there are different rules for applying for a family permit and we would review and assess your circumstances to see if you qualify.

People from Northern Ireland are not required to hold any ‘proof of status’ because they have the automatic right to stay in the UK. As such, any third-party family member (people from outside of the EU) would not have been able to rely on that relationship to be granted any kind of ‘residence card’ to prove their right to reside in the UK under the former EEA regulations. Therefore, under EUSS, they may now have the right to sponsor family members who might not have qualified previously. If you or your family member (including a non-married partner) is from Northern Ireland, please get in touch for our expert advice.

Eligible family members

According to the Home Office guidelines, the following family members are eligible to apply:

spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
child or grandchild under 21
dependent child or grandchild over 21
dependent parent or grandparent

This includes family members who were adopted under an adoption order that is recognised in UK law.

You can also apply if you are one of the following family members of the spouse or civil partner:

their child or grandchild aged under 21
their dependent child or grandchild over 21
their dependent parent or grandparent
EUSS does not include extended family members such as brothers, sisters, aunts etc. but please get in touch if there is a blatant dependency on the sponsor as it may be worth exploring.


This can be construed as a grey area and unlike the dependency requirements when applying under the standard domestic law, it does not appear to be as militant. Whilst a level of dependency is required, there are no specific requirements nor a specified list of documents that need to be satisfied to meet this and therefore, each case would need to be assessed in detail and on its own merit. We would review your circumstances and provide a better idea as to whether you or your family members would qualify based on our experience. If not, we will advise on ways that you can improve your chances of a successful application. Dependency does include financial dependency but not exclusively so it is always worth seeking advice, even if you feel you may not qualify.

Spouses and civil partners of Swiss citizens

If you’re married to or in a civil partnership with an eligible Swiss citizen, the rules are different.

You’ll still be eligible if:

you got married or formed your civil partnership between 31 December 2020 and 1 January 2026
you’re still married or in a civil partnership when you apply

Who you can join?

The Home Office website confirms the following: The “person you’re joining must be from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. This includes if they:

are exempt from immigration control (for example, they’re a foreign diplomat posted in the UK)
travel regularly to work in the UK but live outside of the UK (also known as a ‘frontier worker’)
are a British citizen who has dual citizenship with an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and they settled in the UK before 16 July 2012 without using their free movement rights (also known as a ‘McCarthy’ case)
are a British citizen who is also a citizen of an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and they were working, self-employed, studying or living self-sufficiently in the UK before becoming a British citizen (also known as a ‘Lounes’ case)

Your family member must usually have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or have applied and they’re waiting for a decision”. If they do not, please seek our advice as we would be able to assess whether you can still qualify.

Unmarried partner

If you are an unmarried partner, you will need to provide evidence that you were in your long-term relationship by 31 December 2020.

This usually means showing that you had been living together for 2 years.

You would also usually be required to show evidence that your unmarried partner was issued a residence document under the previous EEA regulations or your application would risk being refused. However, there are various reasons why some unmarried partners may not have applied previously and therefore, we urge you to contact us for advice.

If you are applying on the grounds that your family member was settled in the UK before 16 July 2012 without using their free movement rights (also known as a ‘McCarthy’ case), you’ll have to show that on 16 July 2012 they had either:

a right of permanent residence in the UK
a document issued under EEA regulations, for example, a residence card

Parents and Carers of British Children (Zambrano Carers)

A ‘Zambrano carer’ is a non-EEA national parent or carer of a dependent British citizen child, where the British citizen would be unable to reside in the UK if the carer had to leave. Zambrano carers have been recognised to have a right to reside under EU law since the European Court of Justice’s decision in Ruiz Zambrano v Office National de l’Emploi (C-34/09) [2012] QB 265.

However, Brexit has altered the position for Zambrano carers making this route tricky and ambiguous. It appeared that the Home Secretary had intended to extend EUSS leave to all Zambrano carers but unfortunately, the EUSS Rules were drafted so as to exclude anyone who already had leave to remain on another basis (for example on private and family life grounds under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights).

This had always been a contentious issue for Zambrano carers, even under the EEA regulations but after several challenges brought by our and other firms, it seemed that the Home Office had become more compliant with the ECJ’s ruling. However, post-Brexit, Ms Akinsanya, a non-EU National mother of a British child was not considered eligible for settled status under the EUSS. Settled status is far preferable to limited leave to remain for a variety of reasons.

Ms Akinsanya challenged the Secretary of State and The Court of Appeal has dismissed the Home Secretary’s appeal in Akinsanya, finding that she misinterpreted UK law when setting the Immigration Rules for Zambrano carers under the EU Settlement Scheme (‘EUSS’). The result is that she will now need to reconsider the EUSS Rules as they relate to Zambrano carers. This could have a positive impact on thousands of parents of British citizen children in the UK. We are still in muddy waters for Zambrano carers and still await clearer guidance on how these applications are to be considered and therefore, if you feel that this may apply to you or a family member, please get in touch urgently to discuss your position.

Our fees for Zambrano matters are dealt with on a case by case basis but are generally in the range of £2,000 – £3,000 + VAT, excluding court fees.

If you have been refused EU pre-settled status or settled status

If you have been denied EU pre-settled status or settled status, you would normally be offered a chance to apply for administrative review and/or the right to appeal in the First Tier Tribunal. The deadlines, waiting times and fees for each route is different and we would therefore strongly advise you to come and talk to us to discuss which route would be more appropriate. In many cases, it is possible to challenge the Home Office decision, for example, on the grounds of misinterpretation of the withdrawal agreement, if you are an unmarried partner or if you are the carer for an EU citizen.

We can advise you of your rights, go through your application and rejection and discuss submitting an application for administrative review, raising an appeal or a possible alternative solution. We are frequently successful in dealing with rejections, even in complex and non-standard cases.

Contact our EU Settlement Scheme solicitors in London today

If you wish to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, we will be happy to help you put together a strong application.

To speak to one of our EU Settlement Scheme lawyers in London, call us on 020 74394675, email us at or fill in our contact form.