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The EU Settlement Scheme deadline approaches – some important things to know

Date posted: 22 June 2021

As the deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme rapidly approaches our Mala Savjani, our Here for Good funded solicitor, sets out some important things to know.

 

Deadline and Late Applications

 

The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.

 

The Home Office has published guidance, outlining reasons for which late applications will be accepted, but if at all possible, it is advisable to submit any relevant applications by the deadline.

 

There are also a number of applications that can be submitted after the deadline, for example close joining family members whose relationships were formed by 31 December 2020 can apply after 30 June 2021.

 

If you do still need to make an application prior to the deadline and you have a current valid ID, you can submit an application using the mobile phone app (search for the “EU Exit: ID Document Check” app) or the online application form.

 

 Submitting an application if you do not have a current valid ID

 

You can now download the paper application form online if you do not have a current valid ID. Please note there are different forms for EEA nationals and for family members. These forms can be sent back by email to the address on the application form.

 

At the time of writing, all other paper forms will still need to be requested by calling the EU Resolution Centre phone line on 0300 123 7379. These forms can now be sent to you by email, and you can also send them back to the Home Office by email.

 

Zambrano carers

 

On 9 June 2021 the High Court ruled Zambrano carer’s rights to reside under EU law until 30 June 2021 were not affected by a grant of limited leave to remain, or by the possibility of getting limited leave to remain. The judgment is R (Akinsanya) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1535 (Admin).

 

In the judgment, Mr Justice Mostyn quashed the unlawful Home Office guidance. He also declared that the definition in Appendix EU of Zambrano carers is unlawful. He allowed the Home Office time to reconsider Appendix EU. It is not clear whether the Home Office will amend it or how they will amend it. The Home Office will also ask the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal.

 

This leaves Zambrano carers in an uncertain position. The best way for a Zambrano carer to protect their residence rights is to submit an application on or before 30 June 2021. You will need to request a paper application form by telephone (see above).

 

However, it has now been agreed that the Home Office will accept Zambrano carer EUSS applications after the deadline (for a specified period running from publication of the outcome of her Zambrano reconsideration of Appendix EU).  This means that if you have limited leave to remain which expires after 30 June 2021, you have the right to make a late application under Appendix EU at any time before your limited leave expires.

 

Additionally, the Home Office has agreed in the Court Order that Zambrano carers can have Appendix FM and EUSS applications pending at the same time, as long as both applications are based on the same circumstances, for example, as the primary carer of a British citizen.

 

For full details, please see this note prepared by Hackney Community Law Centre who are representing Ms Akinsanya.

 

Continuous residence – absences related to Covid-19

 

Following Here for Good’s successful legal challenge, the Home Office have now published the revised Coronavirus (COVID-19): EU Settlement Scheme – guidance for applicants and revised guidance for their caseworkers.

 

The new guidance takes a more flexible approach by providing a non-exhaustive list of possible ‘important reasons’ why someone may have been absent from the UK for Covid-19 related reasons, and the type of evidence that would be accepted.

 

Referring a case to Here for Good

 

If you are a supporting organisation and would like to refer a case to Here for Good for 1-2-1 support, please download this Referral Form and this Means-testing Form, complete them with the client, and send them both to the email address specified in the Referral Form. At this stage, Here for Good cannot guarantee that the application will be submitted before 30 June 2021, as the deadline is very close and there is limited capacity, however, there should be capacity to assist with late applications.