The simple answer to that is “now”.
The deadline for most EU/EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. It is important to understand that most EU/EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members need to make an application to ensure they secure their existing rights beyond 30 June 2021. This includes people who hold a permanent residence document or an EEA biometric residence card.
Who does not need to apply?
People who have obtained indefinite leave to remain in the past do not need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme but may decide that they want to as it will allow them to be registered with the Home Office and given a mechanism to prove their immigration status digitally, which may be useful in the future.
Equally, Irish citizens do not need to apply but may do so if they wish. Irish citizens are allowed to live and work in the United Kingdom going forward purely on the basis of their Irish nationality.
What happens if you miss the deadline?
First and foremost try not to. Remember that an application is submitted on the day that it is triggered on-line, that is to say the day that you press the button on the on-line form to send it to the Home Office. If you need to upload documents after this date that is still possible and the date of application will still be the date that you triggered the application.
However, if you do miss the date, the Home Office has now provided guidance which will allow you to explain why you missed the date and a caseworker can exercise discretion to still grant an application. The best advice is to apply as quickly as possible, with evidence as to why the application is late. The evidence could for example include proof of a medical reason why the application has been delayed.
Applications which can still be made
Although the EU Settlement Scheme deadline is 30 June 2021, there are still plenty of applications that can be made after this date. These include from spouses where the couple were married before 30 December 2020 and from children. Applications can be made for these family members to join an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen in the United Kingdom. The procedures will vary depending on whether the applicant is in the United Kingdom or abroad.
Most applications are straightforward and can be done with the EU Exit app on a smartphone and by completing the on-line form. If you do though need advice, either guiding you through the application, or with questions about applications for family members, please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com or by telephone 020 7401 6887.