The EU Settlement Scheme for Irish citizens
Irish citizen (or those with dual Irish-British citizenship) have very special immigration status in the UK. This is because of the Common Travel Area agreement, which the UK and Ireland created at the beginning of the 20th century.
What is the Common Travel Area?
Common Travel Area was established in 1923 and consists of the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands.
The UK and Ireland are two independent countries. The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are a self-governing British Crown dependency. The Channel Islands are an archipelago (an island group) in the English Channel. They include the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The Bailiwick of Guernsey consists of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and some smaller islands.
What is British Crown Dependency?
The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (British Crown dependency) do not form part of either the UK or the British Overseas Territories. They are known as territories for which the UK is responsible. These two territories are not part of the European Union (EU). The power to pass legislation affecting the islands was intrusted to the UK government.
For this reason, in this article, I’ll be concentrating on the rights of Irish citizens in the UK only.
The Right to Reside in the Common Travel Area
Irish citizens do not need permission from the UK authorities to travel to the UK. They have a very special status in the UK. Irish citizens, when in the UK, are treated as if they Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. In other words, they are allowed to remain in the UK permanently. For this reason, they are allowed to travel to the UK, work, study here, access benefits and NHS in the same way as all British citizens are. However, if Irish citizens choose to claim benefits, they can do so only in one country. So, they cannot claim pensions from Ireland and the UK at the same time.
Both Governments are taking steps to ensure that the arrange remain the same after the UK leaves the EU.
It is important to understand that citizens of all other countries, travelling from Ireland to the UK remain subject to the relevant requirements of UK immigration law.
Brexit, the EU Settlement Scheme and Irish Citizen
The Common Travel Area agreements were signed in 1923. The UK joined the EU in 1973. Therefore, Brexit has no effect on the relationship between Ireland and the UK. For this reason, Irish citizens are under no obligation to apply for settled or pre-settled status in the UK. However, they can, if they choose to.
In certain circumstances applying under the EU settlement scheme, Irish citizens (those who reside in the UK) can be beneficial. This is when they would like to invite their visa-national relatives to live with them in the UK.
For the application to be successful you, as an Irish citizen, will need to prove that you have resided in the UK before 31 December 2020. Of course, there are numerous ways of proving your residence. However, an additional benefit of applying under the EU Settlement Scheme is in the fact that your close relatives (spouse, children under 21 or dependent children over 21 and dependent parents) will be able to apply to join you under the EU Settlement Scheme as opposed to relevant provisions of Immigration rules, which will be applicable to close relatives of British citizens.
Let me give you an example:
Visa National Spouses of Irish Citizens
Suppose you are an Irish citizen residing in the UK without settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme and you would like your visa national spouse to reside with you in the UK.
In these circumstances, you’ll be treated as someone with Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. To join you in the
UK, your spouse will need to prove that s/he meets all the necessary requirements of spouse visa. There are four general requirements: the relationship, financial, accommodation and English language requirements. I’ve explained them in more detail in my free masterclass and my previous articles.
To meet the financial requirement (also known as the Minimum Income Requirement) you need to prove that you have an income of at least £18,600 gross per year (unless exempt).
However, if you are an Irish citizen with settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement, your spouse will be applying under provisions of Appendix EU.
What does this mean in practice for you and your spouse? This means that there is no need for your spouse to meet the relationship, financial, accommodation or English language requirement. All that you’ll need to prove is that you have a settled and or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme and you married your spouse before 31 December 2020 and you are residing in the UK.
Visa National Children and Parents of Irish Citizens
If are an Irish citizen, residing in the UK without settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement and want your children over 18 (not over 21) and/or parents to join you in the UK, they’ll need to meet the adult-dependent relative visa requirements.
To succeed in this application they will need to prove that as a result of age, illness or disability they require long-term personal care to perform everyday tasks. In addition to this already high threshold requirement you, as the Sponsor in this application, will need to provide documents confirming that even with your practical and financial help it is impossible to obtain the required level of care in the country where your relatives reside because-
(a) it is not available and there is no person in that country who can reasonably provide it; or
(b) it is not affordable.
What does this mean? It means that your children over 18 or parents will not be able to join you in the UK unless they are disabled and their disability is so severe that you cannot find someone to look after your relative in their country of origin or the costs of care are so hight that you cannot afford them.
However, if you are an Irish citizen with the settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement, all you have to prove is that:
1. You have an EUSS status;
2. Your child over 21 or/and your parent are dependent on you financially.
What is also important to know here is that if your child is under 21 and they wish to join you under the EU Settlement Scheme – there is no need to prove their dependency on you. All you have to do in these circumstances is to provide their birth certificate confirming that you are their parent.
If you would like to apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may benefit from
watching a FREE 3-video series masterclass, which I’ve created for EU citizens and their family members, who are residing in the UK. The masterclass is free and the link to the first lesson will in your mailbox within several seconds of your registration. YOU CAN JOIN THIS FREE MASTERCLASS HERE RIGHT NOW.
If you would like to know more about inviting your visa national close relatives, you’ll benefit from attending my FREE masterclass for family members of EU citizens residing outside the UK. You can get started within less than 5 minutes. JOIN YOUR FREE MASTERCLASS HERE.