Late Applications Under the EU Settlement Scheme

The Home Office has recently announced that EU citizens and their family members who apply late to the EU Settlement Scheme will have their day-to-day rights protected whilst that application is being considered

The Home Office has encouraged people to submit their applications under the EU settlementsscheme even if they are late or have missed the deadline.

EU Nationals and their family members will be able to apply to the scheme late, i.e., after the deadline has passed if they are able to demonstrate ‘good reason’ for applying late.

The Home Office has published detailed guidance on what will constitute a ‘good reason’. A good reason could include the following but are not limited to the below:

  • Where a parent, guardian or Local Authority has failed by the relevant deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme on behalf of a child under the age of 18, or where a Local Authority has failed by the relevant deadline to support a care leaver in applying to the scheme.
  • Where a person lacks the physical or mental capacity
  • Serious medical condition or significant medical treatment
  • Abusive or controlling relationship or situation
  • Other compelling practical or compassionate reasons

The Home Office guidance and the examples listed therein gives us the impression that the Home Office is looking to grant late applications. Applicants are urged to apply and give the Home Office a genuine reason for the delay even if you think that your reason for delay in not listed in the guidance. The Home Office has suggested that other compelling practical issues could include unable to apply for reasons such as lack of access to the internet, limited English language skills, homelessness, or inability to access the required evidence to support an application.

The Home Office guidance states that it will give ‘the benefit of the doubt’ to those who provide a reason for submitting their application after the deadline. Furthermore,the Home Office says,‘it will look for reasons to grant applications, not for reasons to refuse them’. This is extremely reassuring given the Home Office usually is stringent when it comes to such issues.

The Home Office’s announcement means that, currently, once a late application is submitted, the following rights of the applicant will be protected until the application has been decided:

  • The right to work in the UK (including taking up new employment);
  • the right to rent property;
  • the right to receive welfare benefits;
  • the right to access free NHS treatment.

If you are an EU national or a family member of an EU National who would like to apply to the EU settlement scheme, our expert immigration lawyers can provide assistance with your application.

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