EU Settlement Scheme Updated FAQs: July 2021
What are the problems for people who missed the June 30thdeadline?
- The way the Government designed the EUSS means that EU citizens andnon-
EU family members (EEA+ citizens) who missed the deadline automatically fell out of status and rights and became undocumented migrants overnight.
- Estimationssuggest this could be tens or even hundreds of thousands ofpeople.
- We know that it is the most marginalised – older and disabled people, looked-after children, Roma communities and survivors of domestic abuse – who are the most likely to have slipped through thecracks.
- These EEA+ citizens are now subject to a series of policies commonly called the Hostile Environment, which criminalise work, bar them from accessing free healthcare and the public safety net and make it illegal to rent a home, access homelessness assistance, open a bank account or obtain a driver’slicense.
What’s wrong with the guidance on late applications?
- The Government has stated that they will take a ‘flexible and pragmatic’ approach towards late applications, but this will not protect people’srights.
- The guidancestates that this flexible approach will ‘normally’ but not ‘always’ be applied and will become stricter withtime.
- Most concerningly, even where the guidance provides a route back to status, this is not a solution to subjecting EEA+ citizens to the Hostile Environment, even temporarily. Loss of legal status and rights and the risk of criminal liability create huge and potentially life-ruiningrisks.
- A person who submits a late application will continue to have no access to their rights until they receive a successful decision.For many, this could take months, and result indestitution.
- Many people may not realise they have no status until years later, when the damage could already bedone.
What’s wrong with the 28-day written notice?
- The Government has outlined that if an EEA+ citizen without status is encountered by Immigration Enforcement they will be issued a written notice to apply to the EUSS within 28 days during which no enforcement action will betaken.
- It is far more likely thatlandlords, employersand other public services will be tasked with understanding and following this new guidance, increasing the likelihood of unlawful decision making anddiscrimination.
- Unless the “notice” is accessible, available in EU languages and signposts to free support and legal advice, EEA+ citizens will encounter the same barriers and risk missing this second deadline. Yet the Home Office has only committed to continuing funding for charities supporting vulnerable EEA+ citizens till September2021.
- The Government has failed to provide clarity on what happens to people who are unable to apply within 28 days. By default, Immigration Enforcement measures – including detention and removal – should kickin.
What are the problems for people with pending applications?
- As of June 30th2021 the backlog of pending applications under the EUSS had grown to almost570,000.
- The Home Office has assured us that EEA+ citizens who applied before the deadline will have their rights protected and can use their “Certificate of Application” as evidence of a continuation of suchrights.
- But EEA+ citizens with pending applications are in a state of legal limbo and feel a great deal of anxiety and uncertainty, especially around employment, housing and crossing the border to see lovedones.
- We know that a lack of physical or official documentation leads to discrimination, especially if employers and landlords are unaware of what they are supposed todo.
What needs to happen?
- The Government must scrap the EUSS deadline, reinstate automatic rights for all EEA+ citizens and physical documentation as proof ofstatus.
- This is the only way to protect the rights of tens of thousands of EEA+ citizens and prevent this disaster before it is too late.
And help Citizens Rights via this crowdfunder: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-ourvital-work-for-eu-citizens-in-scotland