Securing your UK immigration status after the deadline.
What is EUSS?
EUSS is the abbreviation, which means European Union Settlement Scheme. It was introduced as part of Brexit negotiations and it allows for the EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals who are legally resident in the UK to remain in the UK.
The EU nationals were required to obtain indefinite leave to remain. Under the scheme it is referred to the settled status. The pre-settled status would mean the limited leave to remain.
From the 1st January 2021 it is no longer sufficient for the EU nationals to hold permanent residence. This status had to be exchanged to the settled status under EUSS.
This is particularly evident if you do attempt to apply for British citizenship. Only the applicants who have acquired the settled status under EUSS are eligible to apply.
When was the deadline to apply for EUSS?
The scheme was opened in early 2019. The Home Office went through the process to accommodate its system so that more than 5 Million of eligible EU nationals could apply quickly and without the hassle.
The positive answer was supposed to be available in an instant if your circumstances are straightforward and your records are easily accessible and verifiable.
The deadline requirement was two-fold.
You are required to have entered the UK on or before the 31st December 2020. For someone who may have left it for the last minute. This requirement may have been a tall order to meet as the border got shut-down during the final weeks of December 2020. International travel continued to be affected throughout 2020. Some airlines seized their business and operations.
The final deadline to submit your application to register for EUSS was 30 June 2021. The deadline was well known several years in advance and efforts were made to publicise the requirement as much as possible.
EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals arriving from the 1st January 2021 to the UK and who have not secured their settled or pre-settled status are legally required to hold a specific visa, which allows them to work in the UK.
What do you do if you are eligible to apply but missed the deadline?
If you missed the mandatory deadline of 30 June 2021, you may still be able to apply late if you continue to be eligible.
Initially, Home Office’s stance was rigid and one was expected to be legally removed or deported from the UK if the deadline was missed. Technically, one resides illegally if they have not applied to secure their settled or pre-settled status in the UK before the 30th June 2021 deadline.
Home Office recognises certain circumstances and allows for the application to be submitted after the deadline on several grounds.
These are some of the reasonable grounds that the Home Office permits and recognises:
- you’re a child, or applying for your child, and you did not know you needed to apply
- your parent, guardian or local authority did not apply for you when you were a child
- you have, or had, a medical condition which prevented you from applying
- you lacked the physical or mental capacity to apply
- you have care or support needs, or those caring for you were unaware of the deadline
- you’ve been the victim of modern slavery
- you’ve been in an abusive or controlling relationship
- you did not have internet access, or access to relevant documents
- you came to the UK on a work or study visa and became eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme while you were here, but did not know you could apply
- you already have indefinite leave to enter or remain, and you did not know you could apply to the scheme
- you had permanent residence status or a residence document that stopped being valid after 30 June 2021, and you did not know you needed to apply to the scheme
- you had difficulty accessing support to apply because of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions
- another compelling practical or compassionate reason prevented you applying
If you are eligible to acquire your EUSS pre-settlement or settled status, the best course of action is to apply without any further delay. You may also be tempted to apply for a different visa. However, applying for the correct EUSS status should be your first step.
It is also possible that your personal circumstances and your UK immigration history is not as straightforward. Therefore, you should always need to reach out and speak to an expert for assistance.
You would like to regularise your UK immigration position in the UK and not sure how to best proceed, schedule a call!
Saule Voluckyte, M.A.E.S, LL.B, FAIA
I have been working exclusively with UHNWI in Mayfair, London since January 2008. I built specialist knowledge and expertise required to serve ultra high net worth individuals investing, operating and relocating to the UK or Switzerland.
Within the industry, I am the single adviser who is able to traverse the different areas of expertise and bring a comprehensive approach across: global structuring, UK immigration, international taxation and FOREX to develop their global wealth strategy, while they build, grow and expand their wealth worldwide.
Previous experience as one of the senior advisors for the government, made me a go-to person when delicate and uncomfortable scenarios involving heads of state need to be handled with care and preserve privacy.