Changes to EUSS late application process
New guidance on Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status): After you’ve applied – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) in respect of late applications to EUSS says:
After you’ve applied
After you’ve applied, the Home Office will check your application.
They’ll check if your application meets validity requirements, including:
- your proof of identity
- your biometrics
- entitlement to apply from outside the UK (if applicable)
- if you’ve entered the UK illegally (if you’re a joining family member)
- your reasonable grounds for the delay in applying (if applicable)
If the information you provide is correct and your reasonable grounds are approved, you’ll get a certificate of application.
ALP has been warning that applicants with no right to EUSS were able to make an application and gain a Certificate of Application (CoA) which gives a statutory excuse for 6 months when checked through the Employer Checking Service. When the application is refused, or when the 6 months runs out, applicants were simply able to make another application and continue working in the UK.
The change above, means that a CoA will only be issued when the grounds for making a late application have been approved.
Caseworker Guidance on what constitutes reasonable grounds has also changed.
Prior caseworker guidance suggested that there would be flexibility, for those who are applying late but who do not have an obvious basis for their late application.
So for example a worker remaining in permanent employment and simply not aware that they needed to apply to EUSS, was likely to get the benefit of the doubt in terms of their reasons for not applying.
However, new caseworker guidance, updated on 23rd August lists lack of internet access, poor language skills, reasons to do with COVID or simply that they overlooked or were not aware of the requirement to apply as reasons that will not longer be generally accepted.
The list of what does constitute reasonable grounds for delayed application is now quite limited and unlikely to apply to many applicants.
Members may have large numbers of workers who are EUSS applicants waiting for resolution and it is likely that a large number of them will not have their Positive Verification Notice renewed the next time a check is made.
Members should understand:
- The number of current workers where the CoA to the EUSS and PVN form the statutory excuse
- The number of new applicants with a CoA to the EUSS
- The number of EU workers employed since before Brexit, where there is no evidence of EUSS status
The worst case scenario is that the current workforce will be reduced over the next six months by the number of current workers with CoAs and the future applicant flow will be reduced similarly.
ALP has asked the Home Office:
- How long the process will take, from application to receiving a CoA
- If the reasonable grounds for a late application are not approved, how is the applicant notified, and will they be able to appeal or make another application
We will update this note as soon as we receive answers.