Enormous increase in EU settlement scheme applications but many EU citizens may still be left out!
Ever since the announcement of the Brexit and the implementation of EU Settlement Scheme, the Home Office has received an estimate of EU, EEA and Swiss citizen’s applications to be in the UK of approx. between 3.4 million to 3.8 million. This has not been easy for anyone as out of this number there remains a backlog of 320,000 applications still under process and the applicant’s and their families are still uncertain about their future to be in the UK as it is highly probable that few citizens may end up getting stuck in between nowhere. There are more than adequate no of EU citizens residing in day-care homes and children’s homes and victims of domestic abuse who are the most vulnerable and at risk and unaware of the steps to be taken to ensure that they can continue staying in the UK post 30 June 2021. The Home Office records indicate 125,000 applications being filed in March 2020 and approx. 180,000 non-EU nationals who are their family members.
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The Home Office has so far received 3,147,000 applications and out of those 58% were granted settled status and 41% granted pre-settled status. It is unfortunate that 10,000 applications remain to be invalid as 600 applications have been refused majorly on the eligibility grounds and few on the suitability grounds. It has been very difficult to fathom that there is no way of verifying as to how many EU citizens and their families have not already applied and this leads to the question does the govt. even have any previous registration system? How is the govt. even tallying the numbers as no records appears to exist.
At present even though the applications are being processed however still some of the complex cases are taking up to six months to resolve which is needless to say creating a huge emotional turmoil for many families whose lives were put on hold. There are also lot of cases where people have expressed concerns over the lack of information about refusals.
It is disheartening to learn that any EU resident for any reason misses the deadline of 30 June 2021, will automatically lose their legal status in the UK.
As per the recent data the applications which have been received by the Home Office by the Polish citizens are at the top with 665,000 applicants however there are about a million Poles in the UK and some have chosen to even head back to Poland. Thereafter Romanians are the second highest number of applicants by 564,300, followed by Italians at 351,600 and Portuguese at 273,000.
The Home Office is of the view that there still remains a year left until the implementation period is over and they would exercise discretion if they receive application which has reasonable grounds for not being able to apply before the deadline.
Further the Home Office is considering that since there is still more than a year left until the deadline and if someone had reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, they would be given a further opportunity to apply. This is also extended to accommodate applicants who are granted pre-settled status, and who are due to apply for settled status, this also includes close family members living overseas at the end of the transition period (and children born after that date) who later join a resident EEA or Swiss citizen.
If you are an EU national residing in the UK or have a family member on EEA family permit or extended family member applying for EEA Family permit and would like to apply for settled status or pre settled status in the UK, you can contact us on the below mentioned contact details.
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