*UPDATE* Protection of Rights:
The Home Office announced on the 6th August 2021 that EU citizens and their family members who apply late to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will have their rights protected whilst their application is being processed.
The initial government policy stated that those who applied late would not be able to rent, work, or access benefits whilst they awaited their application outcome.
This protection has not been introduced into law. It is unclear whether this will happen through Parliament, or through secondary legislation pushed through by the Johnson administration.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) was established to enable EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK by the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020, and their family members, to get the immigration status they need to continue to live, work, study and access benefits and services after 30th June 2021.
The 30th June 2021 was the deadline for applications to be made to the EUSS. This was also the end of the grace period during which their existing EU law rights were protected pending the outcome of an application to the EUSS made by the deadline.
From 1st July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members are required to evidence their right to be in the UK by having obtained a valid UK immigration status.
You can obtain immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme, if eligible. Alternatively, you can obtain a valid visa under the points-based immigration system.
The Home Office has stated that you do not need to apply if you have indefinite leave to remain or enter, or are an Irish citizen, but you can if you want to.
Failure to apply by the 1st July 2021:
If you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen or non-EEA family member who has been resident in the UK by 31st December 2020, but did not make an application to the EUSS by the deadline of 30th June 2021, your rights in UK law are not protected.
Failure to apply to the EUSS may negatively impact your eligibility to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK.
28 days’ notice:
It is possible to make late applications. However, if you have not applied and are eligible for the EUSS, you will be provided with a written notice if you come in contact with Immigration Enforcement. This will give you an opportunity to apply to the EUSS, normally within 28 days.
The Home Office has stated that they will take a flexible and pragmatic approach to accepting late applications and will look for reasons to grant applications, not to refuse them, however, we are still unsure how flexible this approach will be.
Proof of application:
An EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen or their non-EEA family member who cannot evidence their status or present a Certificate of Application showing they have applied to the EUSS, can provide it once they receive proof.
This is why it is important to make a late application to the EUSS if you failed to apply by the deadline.
Upon making a late application to the EUSS (evidenced by a Certificate of Application), you will be non-chargeable for NHS healthcare from the date of that application until its final outcome.
EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens or their family members without a valid immigration status, or refused EUSS status, may be charged for NHS healthcare, unless another exemption from charging applies.
How to make a late application:
You can check your eligibility to apply at www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme, where you can complete a free online application from a computer, tablet, or mobile smartphone.
You do not need to apply to the EUSS:
– If you’re a naturalised British citizen
– If you have indefinite leave to enter or remain
– You’re an Irish citizen.
Your children will need their own individual applications if they are not British citizens or do not have indefinite leave to enter or remain.
If you are expecting to have a child (or have given birth since 1 April 2021) then you will need to make an application on the behalf of your child within 3 months of their date of birth. This is not necessary if the parent held status prior to the birth of the child.
Reasonable grounds for late applications:
Provisions have been made for late applications made by EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who can show they have reasonable grounds for missing the deadline.
- A Non-exhaustive caseworker guidance list has been published setting out a wide range of circumstances that would constitute reasonable grounds, these include:
– Parent, guardian, or Local Authority has failed to apply on behalf of a child.
– Serious medical condition, which meant they were unable to apply by the relevant deadline.
– Victim of modern slavery or is in an abusive relationship.
– Someone who is isolated, vulnerable, or did not have the digital skills to access the application process.
– Unable to apply by the relevant deadline for compelling practical or compassionate reasons – including in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible applicants should make a late application to the EUSS as soon as possible.
EU Settlement Resolution Centre
You can contact the EUSS Resolution Centre by calling:
– 0300 123 7379 from inside the UK
– +44 20 3080 0010 from outside the UK
For more information or assistance with the EU Settlement Scheme please contact us:
Call: 028 3026 2200