Since 1 July 2021, all free movement laws which previously applied to EEA citizens in the UK stopped applying. Those who applied to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June 2021 can retain their previously acquired residence rights when they get pre-settled or settled status. EU citizens who did not apply to the Settlement Scheme by 30 June are now unlawful residents in the UK. What does this mean, and can it be remedied?
Those with pre-settled or settled status, as well as those who have made an application to the Scheme in time and are still waiting for a response, retain their rights. This means that they can live, rent, work and stay in the UK indefinitely if they have settled status, and for five years if they have pre-settled status (which may later be upgraded to settled status.)
Additionally, proof of application before the deadline of 30 June 2021 guarantees EEA citizens the same rights as proof of (pre-)settled status, even if the application has not been concluded or decided yet. In other words, people with a pending application submitted before the deadline retain all their residency rights whilst awaiting the final decision.
Those EEA citizens in the UK without status under the EUSS and who have not applied by the deadline, on the other hand, are unlawful residents: they do not have legal status to be and remain in the UK. This means that they do not have access to public funds such as benefits, even if they were previously entitled to them. Unlawful residents cannot work or rent in the UK, nor can they access all health treatments or NHS services. They are also technically liable for removal from the UK, though the Home Office have said that this will not immediately be enforced against EEA citizens.
Thus, from 1 July 2021 onwards, employers are required to check that their EEA citizen employees have the right to work in the UK. Similarly, landlords will have to ask for proof of residency status before renting to EEA citizens. In these scenarios, the only valid proof of residency is settled or pre-settled status for those EEA citizens who moved to the UK before 30 December 2020, or another visa (e.g. a Skilled Worker Visa) under the points-based system for those who moved to the UK after 1 January 2021. Old EU residency cards and derivative residency are no longer accepted as valid proof – all EEA citizens eligible for the EUSS must show proof of status under the Scheme, or if the outcome of their application is pending, they must show proof of application.
EEA citizens eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme who failed to apply by the 30 June deadline may still submit a late application if they have “reasonable grounds” for their tardiness. Reasonable grounds are not clearly defined, but should normally be interpreted flexibly. Once a late application is submitted and the applicant is waiting for a response, they receive certain protections until they know the outcome of their application. Existing tenancies and employment contracts may thus be protected.
Home Office guidance for employers carrying out right to work checks states that those EEA citizens who are already in employment but who have missed the deadline should not immediately be fired; rather, the employer must issue them a warning to apply for the EUSS. If they then do so within 28 days, the employer can keep the EEA citizen employed whilst they await the result of their late application with no repercussions and in compliance with the rules. This temporary protection mechanism will be in place until 31 December 2021.
For landlords, there is no requirement to carry out retrospective checks on EEA citizens who entered into a tenancy before 30 June 2021. It is only new tenancies with prospective EEA citizens which require the landlord to fulfil immigration checks. Landlords are encouraged to inform EEA citizens they should apply to the Scheme should they come across anyone who has not done so yet.
Concerning access to NHS services, EEA citizens can register with a GP and receive primary NHS care free of charge regardless of their immigration status. To access secondary care free of charge, they must be considered “ordinarily resident” in the UK. The easiest way to prove that one is “ordinarily resident” is by showing proof of status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Those who are waiting for the outcome of their EUSS application submitted before the 30 June deadline will similarly remain entitled to free secondary care until the outcome of their application is known. The general rule for those EU citizens without settled or pre-settled status after 1 July 2021 is that they are not considered “ordinarily resident” and therefore not entitled to secondary care free of charge. Rather, they will be charged 150% of the NHS tariff for services received. Similarly to protection frameworks for landlords and employers, those who make late applications for the Scheme will be protected during the time period between the submission of their application and the resolution of the application, so that they will not be charged for any care during that timeframe. If the applicant receives settled or pre-settled status, they remain non-chargeable from the date on which the late application was made. Charges incurred before the late application was submitted, however, will still apply.
Importantly, EEA citizens who have missed the 30 June 2021 deadline should still apply for the Scheme. If you need legal assistance with the EU Settlement Scheme, or have any other questions, you can contact us here, call us on 020 8142 8211, or send us a question on WhatsApp.
On 15 December 2020, the Home Office published guidance covering COVID-19 related absences from the UK for EU/EEA citizens who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), or those who are eligible but have yet to apply. We wrote a post about it at the time, but this guidance has now been updated on 10 June 2021, with significant changes since the last version. This article reflects those changes.
The general rules of the EUSS are clear – for an applicant to be eligible for status, for them to remain in the UK lawfully, they will need to confirm and prove a period of continuous residence in the UK starting before 31 December 2020. Depending on how long that period of residence is, the applicant will be granted either settled or pre-settled status.
To obtain settled status, or indefinite leave to remain, the applicant has to have been continuously residing in the UK for five years. The five years need not be ongoing; applicants who are not currently living in the UK may apply based on their historic residency, as long as they have not been outside the UK for a continuous five-year period immediately after the five-year qualifying period of residence on which their application is based.
If a person has been in the UK for less than five years, they will receive pre-settled status, which they will need to maintain until they reach the five-year continuous residence threshold to qualify for settled status. Continuous residency is calculated on a rolling basis, not based on calendar years, meaning that the applicant must be living in the UK for more than six months out of every twelve-month period.
The general rules state that applicants are permitted one period of absence of more than six months (but which does not exceed 12 months) for an important reason such as study or serious illness without losing their pre-settled status. This period of absence must be explained and proven when the applicant submits their settled status application. If an applicant is absent from the UK for longer than six months (but under 12 months), and it is not for an important reason, the absence will break their continuous residence, and they will not be able to apply for settled status.
The new guidance specifies that applicants can “rely on any coronavirus related reason” as an important reason for absence. This includes where applicants have chosen to remain outside the UK because of the pandemic, e.g. to work remotely or to stay with family. It also includes being forced to remain outside the UK by travel restrictions, having the virus, caring responsibilities, etc.
This wide interpretation will come as a relief to many EU and EEA citizens. It means that if someone with pre-settled status spends, say, eight months of the pandemic outside the UK, this extended absence will not break their “continuous qualifying period,” and they may still apply for settled status as they originally planned.
When applicants with pre-settled apply to “upgrade” their status to settled status, they will have to prove the “good reason” for their absence. This may be through doctors notes or evidence of cancelled flights, but also simply writing a letter explaining why one chose to remain outside the UK because of the pandemic should suffice.
The guidance also deals with those who have two absences from the UK of more than six months each. Normally, this would break continuous residence, because Appendix EU only allows for a “single period” of absence to be excused by an “important reason”. The guidance, however, says that the Home Office will, in practice, not give you a hard time about a second period of absence of between 6-12 months if one of the two periods was due to COVID-19. Note that the time over 6 months during the second period of absence will not count towards the five years you need to qualify for settled status – but it will not break the five years either.
For absences of over 12 months, the COVID-19 pandemic may still serve as an excuse, but the requirements are stricter than for absences of 6 to 12 months long. If you were absent from the UK for more than 12 months, you will have to show that your “this extended absence is because coronavirus meant you were prevented from, or advised against, returning to the UK within 12 months and for a period thereafter.” This could be for many reasons, for example due to illness or quarantine with coronavirus, caring for a family member affected by COVID-19 outside of the UK, being prevented from traveling due to travel restrictions or travel disruption, etc. You will have to prove this with paperwork, so it is pertinent that you keep a record of events for evidence. Additionally, any period of absence longer than 12 months will not count towards the five years necessary to obtain settled status – that qualifying period will resume from the moment the applicant comes back to the UK.
If you need legal assistance with the EU Settlement Scheme, or have any other questions, you can contact us here, call us on 020 8142 8211, or send us a question on WhatsApp.
The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) launched its first Call for Evidence on 24 May 2021. This is their press release:
"This Call for Evidence invites anyone with knowledge and experience of the EU Settlement Scheme to submit written evidence. Any submissions received will be extremely valuable in assisting with the IMA’s current pre-inquiry activities to identify any key areas of concern, compare these findings with those of other organisations, and help to inform our next steps.
We are keen to hear from leading academics, as individuals or as part of an institution or society, who have direct or indirect experience with the EU settlement scheme. We would particularly like to receive information about:
• lived experiences of accessing and negotiating the application requirements – what has worked well, and what concerns or recommendations you might have
• the consistency and usefulness of advice and support received from the Home Office and/ or the Settlement Resolution Centre
• accessing digital proof of status, share codes, and managing changes to details
• undertaking the process of upgrading from Pre-settled status to Settled status
The Call for Evidence is an online questionnaire, which can be accessed by following this link. The questionnaire will also provide the option to additionally, or alternatively, submit a free text account of experiences with the EU Settlement Scheme. Further, we will provide a paper version of this form, if preferred, to anyone on request from IMAPAQ@ima-citizensrights.org.uk .
The questionnaire is available in two versions: the first can be completed by citizens who have made their own applications, and the second by those who have assisted the applications of individuals or made an application on behalf of a citizen.
The Call for Evidence will be open for four weeks and will close on June 18th, 2021.
We would like to receive as much information as possible, and from as wide a demographic as possible. We will consider all responses, including those which are only partially completed. As such, we would be extremely grateful if you/ your organisation would consider all of the questions we pose, and provide a detailed response. Please do share this email with any other individuals or organisations whom you deem would be interested in submitting any information.
For details of how we use, manage and protect any information provided, please see our Consultation Privacy Notice as published on our website. You can also view our principles for conducting consultations and calls for evidence here.
We would like to offer our sincere thanks to you for taking the time to read this email, and very much look forward to receiving your response to our Call for Evidence."
If you need legal assistance with the EU Settlement Scheme, or have any other questions, you can contact us here, call us on 020 8142 8211, or send us a question on WhatsApp.
On 04 March 2021 the Home Office published the latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules and the accompanying explanatory memorandum. The Statement of Changes amend Appendix EU and Appendix EU (family permit) in additional a number of other immigration routes. Some the changes will take place on 06 April 2021, the remainder will happen on 01 July 2021 once the Grace Period has concluded. For an overview of general changes please read our previous blog post on the topic. This post will focus on the changes that apply to EU citizens in the UK after Brexit and the EU Settlement Scheme specifically.
Many of the changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) introduced here are technical changes which will not affect the overall qualifying conditions of the Scheme. The two most important changes relate to an apparent clarification on the late applications process and the rules to allow family members of EEA citizens who were resident before the end of the transition period to qualify for EUSS status even if the EEA citizens themselves do not. The current wording of the rules would have barred these family members from obtaining status themselves once the Grace Period concluded on 30 June 2021. This appeared to offend the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU and would have created unjust outcomes for affected family members.
Regarding late applications to the EUSS, the rules will be changed to enable a person who relies on having reasonable grounds for missing the deadline applicable to them to make one application to the EUSS, so that the Home Office can consider those grounds in assessing their eligibility for EUSS status. Contrasting this with the current wording, which indicated there would be a two-part approach to assessing late applications where the first stage would be to assess the reason for the late application and the second stage being substantive consideration of the applicant’s eligibility for EUSS status, subject to stage 1 being successful, this is a significant improvement. By clarifying in the rules that the late application reasons and EUSS eligibility criteria will be dealt with in a single application, the Home Office is bringing the EUSS in line with the way that the wider immigration system operates.
Applying on time (before 30 June 2021) is still paramount, as the current position of the Home Office is that late applicants to the EUSS do not have any lawful residence rights until they are granted status. Those who apply late, even where they are found to have good reasons, will therefore still face the impact of the hostile immigration environment in the period between 30 June 2021 and the date of the positive outcome of their application (assuming they meet the eligibility and suitability requirements).
Regarding suitability requirements for the EUSS, the Statement of Changes amends the suitability provisions of the EUSS and the EUSS family permit after the end of the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020. The new rules enable an application to be refused (and the leave or entry clearance granted following such an application to be cancelled) where the applicant’s presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good because of conduct committed after the end of the Transition Period. This is a lower threshold for deportation than under EU law, which applies to conduct committed up to the end of the Transition Period. EU citizens are thus easier to deport for conduct or crimes committed after 31 December 2020.
The second significant change concerns family members of EEA nationals. Where both the national and the family members were continuously resident in the UK before 30 June 2021, or the end of the transition period, the changes will allow for the family member making an application on or after 1 July 2021 to rely on either the qualification of the EEA citizen for EUSS status if they had made a valid application under Appendix EU before 1 July 2021, or that prior residence of the EEA citizen, regardless of whether that EEA citizen has EUSS status or could have qualified for it if they had applied before 1 July 2021. This also applies where the EEA citizen has died (and was resident in the UK as a worker or self-employed person at the time of their death), or where the applicant relies on their documented right of permanent residence or existing indefinite leave to enter or remain.
The purpose of this change is to prevent a situation where the family member of an EEA citizen is prevented from obtaining EUSS status because the EEA themselves has not applied to the EUSS. The current iteration of Appendix EU would have prevented this and it was argued that this breached the Withdrawal Agreement. The Home Office appears to have made these changes to avoid that breach.
Additionally, changes were made to the rules of evidence for family members of EEA citizens applying to the EUSS. Under the new rules, a family member applying to the EUSS can rely on a family permit issued under the old (pre-Brexit) Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 as a relevant document evidencing their relationship. Generally, they can rely on the family permit if it was issued on the basis of an application made under the EEA Regulations before 1 July 2021, except where the family member is an extended family member dependent relative. In those cases, the application under those Regulations must have been made by the end of the Transition Period (31 December 2020). Most family members can also rely on those family permits as evidence if the family permit has expired since the end of the Transition Period and before they apply to the EUSS, where they arrived in the UK after the end of that period but before 1 July 2021. Unmarried, durable partners or an extended family member dependent relative applying to the EUSS, however, will not be able to rely on an expired family permit issued under the EEA Regulations.
These changes will make it easier to evidence the family relationship as the Home Office will already have carried out an assessment on the family relationship in order to issue the old family permit. Additionally, there is a change to allow an applicant for an EUSS family permit to rely on alternative evidence of identity and nationality where the applicant is unable to obtain or produce the required document due to circumstances beyond their control or compelling practical or compassionate reasons. This brings the Appendix EU (family permit) approach into line with the way the Appendix EU operates.
Overall the changes should make the EUSS function more smoothly and it is important that family members who have previous residence with an EEA citizen are not penalised solely because that person did not apply to the EUSS (for example because they have left the UK). In terms of late applications, the process should be made as straightforward as possible and so relying on a single application process rather than a two-stage process, is an improvement. This said, the Home Office policy of forcing eligible EUSS applicants into the hostile immigration environment until they are granted status – which could take a long time depending on the complexity of the application – is a harsh penalty for missing a deadline for potential good reason. We know that there are still many people out there who do not know the EUSS applies to them, or who are facing difficulties with the application process; the policy towards these people could and should be more generous.
In 2019, the population of the whole of the UK was estimated to be 66,796,807. This is an estimate, because unlike some other countries, the UK does not have a population registry.
In countries with a population registry, the government collects data on all its residents. Residents are usually obliged to notify the government of any changes in their status such as changes of address, residency, or marital status. These countries usually also have a compulsory ID card for each resident, to keep the register up to date. Contrastingly, the UK government has no such database or register. General public opinion is against the introduction of such a system, as it is considered too intrusive and infringing on the right to liberty. Instead, the Office of National Statistics in the UK assumes a number for the current population, based on what is known about births, deaths and population ageing combined with expectations based on historical data about levels of immigration.
As a consequence, it is quite hard to estimate how many migrants come and go. This is the case both for regular migrants, especially those from the EU or other visa-free countries, but even more so for undocumented migrants.
Overall, the ONS reports that international migration in the year to mid-2019 was 16% lower than in the previous year. This was a result of 17,000 fewer immigrants (a 3% decrease) arriving than in 2018, and 28,000 (or 8%) more people emigrating. This downward change is estimated to have continued throughout 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the finalisation of Brexit. Some have said that the compound effect of COVID and Brexit have led to an “exodus” of foreign-born people from the UK, with some estimates reporting that 1.3 million people have left the UK since the end of 2019 (https://www.escoe.ac.uk/estimating-the-uk-population-during-the-pandemic/). But the numbers are not known, and impossible to confirm.
One illustration of how imprecise the numbers are exactly is the estimated amount of irregular or undocumented migrants in the UK. Preliminarily, it is important to know that until 30 June 2021, these statistics comprise only non-EU citizens, as immigration rules will not be enforced against EU citizens until after that date. Focusing on non-EU migrants in the UK, then, there are no accurate data on the number of lawfully resident non-EU citizens. The Home Office is required to report yearly estimates of the number of non-EU citizens holding a valid residence permit. They do this based on the number of temporary residence permits issued that year that remain valid. It includes for example, visas for entry and extensions where these have been granted. However, the estimate does not include migrants who have been granted permanent residence in the UK (i.e. indefinite leave to remain, or settled status). To make things worse, the government also has no way of knowing if those who were previously granted indefinite leave to remain still live in the UK now, or whether they are even alive. Any estimate of the migrant population, therefore, requires numerous assumptions to be made based on average yearly ILR grants, birth rates, death rates, etc. It is likely to have a significant margin of error for migrants with lawful residence, let alone for those without it.
Another recent example of how difficult it is to estimate population numbers is the Home Office failure to estimate the number of EU citizens living in the UK. Since 1 January 2021, free movement for EU citizens has ended, meaning they can no longer move to work and live in the UK as they please. EU citizens who lived in the UK before that date can apply to retain their residency rights under the EU Settlement Scheme. When the Home Office launched the EU Settlement Scheme in 2018, they estimated that three million EU citizens were living in the UK, and that this was about the number of applications they would receive. With over five months left to apply, over four million people have applied to the Scheme. In the five months to come before the Scheme closes on 30 June 2021, thousands if not a million more are expected.
In short, the government does not know exactly how many migrants there are in the UK, and has no real way of finding out unless it introduces a formal registration system like in the Netherlands or Belgium.
If you need assistance with your immigration status you can contact us here, call us on 020 8142 8211, or send us a question on WhatsApp.
Since 1 January, free movement of people, goods and services has officially ended between the EU and the UK. After months of uncertainty and negotiations, the EU and the UK finally came to agreement on a last-minute trade deal just a week before the end of the transition period. As for the movement of people, freedom of movement ended on 1 January and the new immigration rules, applicable to all non-British citizens (except people with Irish citizenship) have come into full effect. Here are 7 things which changed overnight, and which affect how people live, work and travel in the EU and the UK:
1. The new UK immigration system
On 1 January 2021, the all new, all different, points-based immigration system came into force. All foreign nationals (except Irish nationals) wanting to move to the UK will have to apply and pay for a visa under this system. The government has stated that the new system aims to attract people who will contribute to the UK economy. The basics of the new system include a minimum income threshold (requiring a minimum salary of £25,600 for skilled workers and £20,480 for those with job offers in a shortage occupation or in possession of a PhD relevant to the job), a preference for skilled over unskilled workers (“skilled” meaning people with a certain level of education or training), and an increased cost of visa applications. All applicants also have to pay a health surcharge of £624 per person per year, unless they are healthcare workers.
For a summary of how the points-based system works, check out our blogpost on the topic.
2. UK citizens traveling to the EU
UK nationals can still travel to countries within the Schengen area (which comprises most EU countries as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Norway) without a visa, but no longer for unlimited periods of time, and with additional requirements.
Regarding time limits, UK citizens can spend up to 90 days out of any 180-day period in the Schengen area. In order to be able to cross the border, they will have to have at least six months before their passport expires, and have travel insurance with health coverage. Obviously, UK citizens will no longer be able to use the EU priority lanes at airports or other border crossings.
EU agreements which previously ensured things like no roaming or COVID-19 related arrangements such as travel corridors/exemptions during the pandemic will stop applying. This is a significant change; travellers from the UK are not able to visit the EU at the moment except for specific essential reasons.
3. UK citizens living in the EU
The rights of UK citizens who lived lawfully in the EU before 31 December 2020 were already protected to a certain extent under the Withdrawal Agreement. However, to enjoy those protections, UK citizens living in EU countries should check their country of residence’s specific rules and processes to ensure they can retain those rights. They may need to register or apply for residency, or apply for new documents evidencing their right to stay, or adhere to certain other requirements such as having a job, for example.
4. UK citizens moving to the EU
UK citizens looking to move to the EU now, after 1 January 2021, will no longer have an automatic right to live, work and study or retire there. They will need to apply for a visa if they are traveling for any other reason than tourism, and especially if it is on a more permanent basis. The rules and eligibility for visas will vary country by country.
The one significant exception is for UK citizens planning to move to Ireland. Thanks to the Common Travel Area, special rules apply to the Irish border.
5. EU citizens living in the UK
The rights of EU citizens living lawfully in the UK were already protected under the Withdrawal Agreement. Until 30 June 2021, EU citizens living lawfully in the UK will retain all their rights automatically. If they want to retain their rights further, they will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by that deadline of 30 June 2021, or else they will be unlawful residents and potentially liable for deportation.
Again, because of the Common Travel Area, rights of Irish citizens will not be affected.
If you need any help or advice with your EU Settlement Scheme application, check out our blog posts on the topic, as well as our seminars, and resources.
6. EU citizens moving to the UK
EU citizens moving to the UK after 1 January 2021 no longer have the automatic right to live, work and study here. They instead have to apply under one of the routes available under the points-based system. For more information on the points-based system, check out our resources and summaries.
7. The exception of Northern Ireland
The recent trade agreement includes a section on Northern Ireland, where the EU and the UK have agreed to keep an invisible border (without checkpoints) between the Republic of Ireland (which remains an EU Member State) and Northern Ireland (which is no longer in the EU). There will also be no tariffs (extra charges on goods) for most trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In exchange for this soft border, Northern Ireland will have to continue complying with many of the EU’s rules such as product standards and safety.
If you need assistance you can contact us here, call us on 020 8142 8211 or send us a question on WhatsApp.
The UK government is currently finalising Brexit talks with the EU before the end of the transition period in just under two weeks, on 31 December 2020. After that, EU law will no longer be applicable in the UK, and UK citizens will no longer fall under the scope of EU rules. This has significant effects on the movement of people, with which we are concerned.
From 1 January 2021, it will no longer be as straightforward for British people to move, live or travel in the EU.
For British citizens who want to reside in the EU after this date, everything will depend on when they move to the country in question. If they move before the end of the transition period, they will be able to retain broadly the same rights they had at the time they moved there, when EU law was still applicable in the UK. This is the case even if there is no UK-EU Trade deal by the end of the month, as this is guaranteed under the Withdrawal Agreement which became effective on 1 February 2020. It becomes more complicated if a British citizen wants to move to the EU after 1 January 2021, as their automatic right to live and work in the EU ceases after the transition period. They will then need to apply in accordance with that country’s existing immigration rules.
Those looking to work in the EU after 31 December 2020 will need to make sure that their professional qualifications are recognised in the EU.
To travel to the EU for a visit, British citizens will not need to apply for a visa initially, as the EU has agreed to waive the visa requirement and add the UK to their list of visa-exempt countries. Until the end of 2022, this means that all a British national needs to travel to an EU country is a valid passport.
Effectively, this means that British citizens can spend up to 90 days out of any 180 day period in the EU for business, tourism or to visit friends and family without having to apply for a visa. This is contingent upon the UK returning the favour, and allowing citizens of all EU member states to visit the UK under similar circumstances. If the UK introduces a visa requirement for nationals of at least one member state, the EU will reciprocate by introducing EU-wide visa requirements for UK nationals. The visa waiver will be applicable in all EU member states except Ireland, which has a specific bilateral arrangement which provides for visa-free travel between them. The Schengen associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) also have a separate arrangement with the UK.
However, even if British citizens are not required to fill out a visa application, they will still face increased administrative burdens when traveling. From 1 January 2021, EU border guards may ask people travelling from the UK for additional information including the duration and purpose of their stay, and might then check their passports. In contrast with the current rules, under which a passport is deemed valid as long as it has not expired, traveller’s passports will have to be valid for at least six months after the end of their trip in order to be considered valid travel documents. Additionally, the British citizen traveling will need to have a valid travel insurance.
From 2023 onwards, the conditions for British citizens to enter the bloc will change, as the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (Etias) is set to come into operation then, introducing visa-style fees forms for people wanting to travel to the EU not unlike the American ESTA-system. Under Etias, visitors to the EU's Schengen Area will have to obtain a travel authorisation before their trip and pay a €7 fee. Those who have to pay the fee include people from countries on the visa-exempt list, and therefore British citizens. Other countries not on the visa-exempt list already have to obtain a full visa to travel to the EU, which is much more complicated and costly.
If you need assistance you can contact us here, call us on 020 8142 8211 or send us a question on WhatsApp.