Government Policy has re-affirmed the long held understanding that Irish nationals automatically enjoy a form of permanent residence or settled status in the United Kingdom, independent to any rights that may have accrued under EU Law.
The legal basis for policy is Section 2 of the 1949 Ireland Act . The Government has also stated that Irish nationals need not make an application under the EU Pre settled status / Settled status scheme, but may do so , if they wish.
There does not appear to be any apparent immediate benefit to do so, save where an Irish Citizen is married to a non EU national. The Irish Citizen may well wish to preserve his or her EU rights, so as to protect the spouse’s rights in the future too.
In those circumstances, it may be advisable to apply under the EU Settlement scheme, particularly if the Irish national has been resident in the United Kingdom for the last five years or more.
However , where individuals have not been resident in the United Kingdom for the last five years, they should consider carefully whether it is suitable to make an application at this moment in time.
The current grant letter given to such Irish nationals states:
“ You have been granted pre-settled status and can remain in the UK for five years from the date of this letter. You may be eligible for settled status in due course…”
The letter then continues to set out the terms and conditions of the grant and clearly conflicts with the terms and conditions and duration of the settled status an Irish national enjoys inherently
It is possible that this status letter is a result of oversight by the Home Office in the devising of the EU Settlement App. In these circumstances it may be worth while for those Irish Citizens of five years residence or less , to defer making an application under the EU settlement scheme for a few months.