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13 August 2021

Comment: EU Settlement Scheme - over half a million pending cases leave applicants in limbo

2 mins

Home Office statistics show that almost half a million EU citizens await decision over right to stay in UK. Alison Stanley, partner and joint head of our Immigration team, comments:

For hundreds of thousands of people living in the UK the fall out from Brexit rumbles on. Following Brexit, in order to retain their right to live and work in the UK, EEA nationals and their families had to register through the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). The deadline to do so was 30 June 2021. But the Home Office have not been able to keep up with the number of applications leading up to the deadline.

Recently published statistics show that over six million applications were made from the start of the scheme in March 2019. By the deadline nearly five and a half million applications were determined. 52% of applications were granted settled status; 443% pre-settled status; with 4% being refused, withdrawn, or invalid. However, that left over 500,000 applications still outstanding by the close of the scheme. Since 30 June 2021 another 58,200 applications were received. These will include a mix of those moving from pre-settled to settled status, joining family members and late applicants.

The 500,000 people whose applications are stuck in the Home Office queue can face serious problems: they have no evidence of their continuing rights to live in the UK and can be stopped from working, renting a home, and using the NHS.

EEA nationals and their families who have not yet applied for EUSS status should still do so. Late applications can be accepted, but reasons for the delay should be given.

If you would like advice on making an application please contact our immigration team.

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