EUSS late applications

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
28 June 2024

We acted for an Italian national in an application for settled status under Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules. We submitted that the Applicant fulfilled all the requirements of Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules and should be granted indefinite leave to remain. The Applicant has been residing in the UK since 2006 and acquired permanent residency in 2019, therefore he was deemed to have acquired permanent residence in the UK. During the period between 2006 and 2012, he worked in the UK but did not make an in-time application for settled status, as it was his reasonable belief that he did not need to make an application, given that he had been granted permanent residence in the UK.

In 2024, he made an application for naturalisation as a British citizen. The application was refused in a decision dated March 2024 and the reason for the refusal was that he could not show that he was free of immigration time restrictions, given that he can no longer rely on his permanent residence acquired under the EEA Regulations and he had not made an application for indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme. We needed to provide evidence of “reasonable grounds” for making a late application and provided medical evidence and evidence of other personal circumstances that were the reasons for the delay in making the application.

The Home Office provides for “reasonable grounds” for late applications that can be made by people in our client’s position. There are guidelines which have been published setting out a wide range of circumstances which would constitute reasonable grounds. Page 39 of the Home Office Guidance on EU Settlement Scheme states that those who wish to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme on or after 9 August 2023 must make an application under Appendix EU and provide information and evidence with the application setting out grounds for the delay in making this application. The Guidance also describes some circumstances in which the caseworker may be satisfied that the person has reasonable grounds for their delay, but it is not exhaustive and every case must be considered in light of its particular circumstances. In all cases the assessment must be made of whether there are reasonable grounds for the delay in making the application and in all cases there is an expectation to be provided with objective verifiable evidence that there are reasonable grounds for the person’s delay in making the application to the Scheme, for example a letter from a doctor.

The legal test in assessing the evidence is the balance of probabilities and every case must be considered in light of the particular circumstances and the evidence provided. In line with the general approach under the EU Settlement, we provided evidence of the length of residence of our client, that he had compliant and positive immigration history and that he had a reasonable belief that he did not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme given that he had been granted permanent residence in the UK. We provided medical evidence which supported the reasons for late application and outlined all the multiple factors weighing in favour of him being granted indefinite leave to remain which provides strong reasons for the delay in making the application. It was clear that, on the balance of probabilities, he had reasonable grounds for the delay in making the application and this application to everybody’s delight was successful.