Free help for EU nationals to confirm their immigration status by 30 June 2021

10 May 2021

It is now less than 8 weeks to go until the deadline for EU nationals to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules), which is on 30 June 2021.

If EU nationals do not apply to this scheme and they do not have any other basis for lawful permission to stay in the United Kingdom, they could face serious difficulties with their immigration status.

For most individuals, applying to the scheme is quite straightforward and there will be no need for legal assistance. For many individuals the application will result in a grant of ‘indefinite leave to remain’ also known as ‘settlement’ or ‘settled status’ which means there are no time restrictions or restrictions on what that person can do in the UK (e.g. work, study). Most individuals with indefinite leave to remain can then go on to apply to naturalise as British citizens.

At lot of people will be able to do the application online, using a dedicated app to upload their ID. You can also request a paper application form from the EU Settlement Resolution Centre on 0300 790 0566.

For some applicants, the process will be more complicated and the charity Here for Good has been coordinating volunteer immigration legal advice for those cases. Members of the immigration team at Garden Court North Chambers, including Natalie Wilkins and Vijay Jagadesham, are joining other barristers in the Here for Good advice network with the support of the organization Advocate, to provide additional help in the upcoming weeks.

If you need assistance, visit Here for Good’s website to access a self-help guide and a referral form for help with more complex cases: https://www.hereforgoodlaw.org/advisory

The immigration law blog Free Movement also has some low-cost guides to the scheme: https://www.freemovement.org.uk/diy-guides/

Local authorities must assist children in their care to make applications under Appendix EU and there is specific guidance for them, as well recent caselaw confirming that obligation: Re W and Re Z (EU Settled Status for Looked After Children) [2021] EWHC 783

Other vulnerable applicants, such as people with disabilities, survivors of modern slavery or domestic abuse, the elderly and those who are homeless, may be able to find help from 72 grant-funded community organizations across the country.

If you miss the deadline, there is now some caseworker guidance about the circumstances in which a late application will be accepted (see, currently, pp. 27 – 44). As late applications could cause delays, complications and even refusals, it is vital to avoid them if at all possible.

 

 

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