EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Overview
The main EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) application deadline is 30 June 2021. The Home Office are likely to continue receiving late applications for pre-settled and settled status.
Certain categories of individuals will be allowed access to EUSS later than 30 June. For example people coming from overseas to join loved ones.
Can I apply without a valid passport or identity card?
Applicants should use their passports or national identity documents when applying to the EUSS. Some people have experienced difficulties during Covid-19 getting hold of identity documents from their home nations.
Understandably, people are concerned how this affects their ability to apply before the deadline. Some countries have extended the validity of out-of-date documents and where this is the case an individual might be able to use the document in support an application.
Importantly, where a person is unable to obtain an in-date document due to circumstances beyond their control or due to compelling or compassionate reasons, the Home Office can accept alternative proof of nationality.
What rights do people have whose applications have not been decided by 30 June?
Genuine applicants which remain outstanding on or after 1 July will have their status and rights protected until they receive a final decision.
As proof of application, people could use a Certificate of Application to demonstrate their status and entitlements after 30 June.
The Home Office suggests employers/landlords give people “every opportunity” to demonstrate their eligibility to work/rent whilst their application is under consideration.
..be mindful of avoiding unlawful discrimination!
Will the Home Office accept late applications?
Anyone who is eligible can make a late application if there are reasonable grounds for their failure to apply sooner.
But they will be unlawfully resident in the UK for as long as they do not have a status.
The Home Office’s caseworker guidance provides some examples of scenarios that will normally constitute reasonable grounds for missing the deadline.
Examples include child dependent applications , people with physical or mental capacity needs, or serious medical conditions, and people in abusive relationships
Also, where there are compelling practical or compassionate circumstances for missing the deadline.
The guidance gives examples of circumstances when being unaware of the need to apply could be accepted.
Notably, Caseworkers are instructed to take a “flexible and pragmatic approach” and to give applicants the benefit of any doubt, for the time being.
What are the consequences of missing the application deadline?
From 1 July, people who haven’t applied to the EUSS, and people who have an outstanding late application under consideration, will not have a lawful immigration status in the UK. This will have significant implications for their entitlements in the UK.
Therefore, People without immigration permission will have no right to work, rent, benefits, and bank accounts or driving licence.
There is uncertainty about how authorities will respond to cases involving people who haven’t applied from 1 July in practice.
The Home Office has expressed, if Immigration Enforcement staff encounter people within the scope of the EUSS, they will give them a 28-day opportunity to apply.
People who are refused status or fail to apply will not be covered specifically by the guidance
What about working and renting?
Similarly, the Home Office has yet to confirm its guidance to employers and landlords on right to work/rent checks after 30 June and legal responsibilities in respect of people who haven’t applied to the EUSS.
However, guidance is clear, employers and landlords will not need to conduct retrospective checks on existing employee/tenant with EUSS status.
Currently Williams Charles & Co are helping a steady flow of EU national obtain the correct application forms before the deadline.
June 25,2021 at 6:08 pm