Government reforms (3): Immigration – EU settlement scheme guidance

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What do we already know?

We have updated you in previous Newsletters (see here) that EU citizens and family members who want to continue to live and work in the UK beyond 30 June 2021 will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. (Those who have indefinite leave to enter or remain, or who have citizenship, do not need to apply to the scheme).

What’s new?

The deadline of 30 June 2021 for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme is fast approaching. However, there is some comfort for those who do miss the deadline as on 1 April 2021 the Government published guidance within its main caseworker guidance (available here at pages 26 to page 44) on making late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The guidance states that where a late application is made, the applicant must show reasonable grounds for failing to meet the relevant deadline as part of the application. The guidance includes a non-exhaustive list of examples of what constitute reasonable grounds for a late application, including failure to apply for a child, serious medical conditions, lack of physical or mental capacity or other compelling practical or compassionate reasons.

The Home Office will engage with applicants to give them a reasonable opportunity to put forward their grounds. However, the guidance will be revised at a later date and will likely become more restrictive as time goes on.

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