The end of the EU Settlement Scheme – What’s Next?
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor LinkedinDanielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
On 1st July 2021EU and EA citizens living in the UK without having applied for Pre-Settled or Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme will be here unlawfully. People can apply after the deadline but must have reasonable grounds to apply late. Clarity on what grounds might be considered reasonable were released and at page 44 of the EU Settlement Scheme guidance it gives examples of what might be suitable reasons for the delay. This guidance also applies to those who failed to upgrade from Pre-Settled status to Settled status before their Pre-Settled status expires. It also applies to family members joining their EU citizen sponsor via the Family Permit route.
However, we are not satisfied that the guidance provides the answers to all the questions our clients might have. The list of reasonable grounds for applying for the Settlement Scheme late is non-exhaustive and it states that every case must be considered in light of its particular circumstances. The examples that are provided for situations where it will normally be accepted still doesn’t cover the concerns we have as to how to interpret the catch-all provisions of “compelling practical or compassionate reasons”. The guidance suggests that there will be flexibility, initially, after the deadline for those who are applying late, even if they don’t have an obvious basis for the late application.
Now that the ‘buffer’ to prevent EU Citizen finding themselves without lawful residence is coming to an end we urge you to take action and if need be, seek legal advice.