French chef Richard Bertinet has been granted settled status more than a week after being denied permanent residency in the UK.
“This is such a relief and makes my day,” said Bertinet, posting on Instagram. “Thank you so much for all the support everyone.”
Bertinet last week described the post-Brexit EU Settlement Scheme as a “shambles” when, 24 hours after applying for permanent residency, he was granted pre-settled status, which is usually given to individuals who have lived in the UK for less than five years. He was told he would have to apply again for the right to stay permanently in the UK in five years’ time.
Bertinet has lived in the UK continuously since 1988 and runs the Bertinet Kitchen Cookery School in Bath.
Following extensive publicity and support for Bertinet on social media, the Home Office told him that “the wrong button” had been pressed in the application process and suggested that an appeal or re-application would be successful. Bertinet was supported in making the application by his wife Jo, a former commercial lawyer.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “EU citizens are our friends, family and neighbours and we want them to stay.”
“Applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is quick and easy, and over a million people have been granted status so far in the first few months since fully launching.
“Nobody has been granted pre-settled status without first being offered the opportunity to submit evidence that they qualify for settled status. EU Settlement Scheme statistics confirm that by the end of June not a single person had been refused.
“There is plenty of support available if people need help, and they have until at least December 2020 to apply.”
Wera Hobhouse, Bertinet’s local MP, said on Twitter: “I’m thrilled that Richard Bertinet has been granted settled status. I am appalled by the way this government is treating EU citizens who have made our country their home.”
In the past two weeks, Polish chef Damian Wawrzyniak, who has lived and worked in the UK for 15 years, was also denied settled status before the Home Office reversed its decision and granted the chef’s application. He received more than 200 pleas for help in three days through a Facebook page he set up to support those who, like him, were denied permanent residency in the UK.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Galvin at Windows general manager Fred Sirieix said that he has been made to feel like a “second-class citizen” after being asked for evidence of five years’ continuous residency in the UK in his application for permanent residency, despite having lived here for 27 years.
Fred Sirieix made to feel like a “second-class citizen” in application for permanent residencyLeading maître d’ and television presenter Fred Sirieix said that he has been made to feel like a “second-class citizen” after having to jump through hoops in applying for permanent residency in the lead up to Brexit.
Following widespread publicity, the Home Office contacted Sirieix to apologise for the mistake. He was told that as a permanent resident with indefinite leave to remain status there was no need to apply for permanency residency in the first place and was granted settled status with immediate effect.