The EU Settlement Scheme protects the rights EU/EEA citizens and their family members currently have in the UK, through the process of applying for settled or pre-settled status.
As part of the applications process, there are questions about criminal records and checks are carried out by the Home Office.
It is difficult to give clear information on how the Home Office will treat applications from people with criminal records. We do not know how the Home Office is applying its own guidance so this information cannot tell you categorically what to expect, although the Home Office appears to be taking a very long time to make decisions in many applications from people with criminal records.
The vast majority of applicants with a criminal record should find their criminal record is not a barrier to settled or pre-settled status. That said, you may still be refused settled or pre-settled status because of the suitability criteria.
That’s why today we have published information about the EU Settlement Scheme for applicants with a criminal record, as well as details of organisations that can provide specialist advice. You can read the information online.
What you need to know about applying for settled status
- Having a criminal record should not put you off applying
- It’s important to apply as soon as you can. The deadline is 30 June 2021, but you should apply as soon as possible
- If you have lived in the UK for five years or more and have no unspent convictions, it is unlikely that your criminal record will be a barrier
- If you have unspent convictions, or you have a criminal record and have lived in the UK for less than five years, you should get specialist advice.
We’ve also published a one-page summary which can be downloaded as a PDF – which organisations providing advice to individuals can use as a way of raising awareness amongst those who need to apply and might be concerned about their criminal record.
We’re continuing our work on settled status, to help secure the rights of EU nationals to settled status in the UK by ensuring that a criminal record does not unfairly exclude them.
Written by Christopher Stacey, Co-director of Unlock