STILL NOT TOO LATE TO APPLY
30 June 2021----The deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme has come and gone. Many have already applied and have either received a decision from the Home Office or are waiting for a decision.
But, what about those who still have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme. These individuals may not have applied for a number of reasons.
There may still be a situation that these individuals may still be able to apply to the EU settlement scheme to be granted settled or pre-settled status, provided you are able to demonstrate that there were reasonable grounds for your late application. In short, you must prove why you are applying late and that it was beyond your control.
For this blog, we will look at what the Home Office has described as:

“reasonable Grounds for Failing to Meet the Deadline.”

Appendix EU defines the required date as before 1 July 2021 unless there are present reasonable grounds.
(aa)before the 1 July 2021 Unless
(bb) where the Secretary of State is satisfied by the information provided with the application that, at the date of application, there are reasonable grounds for the person’s failure to meet the deadline in Sub-Paragraph (a)(i)(aa) on or after 1 July 2021.
So, what are these reasonable grounds, and who may rely on these, and in which circumstance are these grounds accepted? These are some of the answers we will explore in this blog.
The Home office published non-Exhaustive caseworker guidance, setting out a wide range of circumstances that would constitute reasonable grounds for late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.
These grounds include but are not limited to some of the following situations:
Where a parent, guardian or Local Authority has failed to apply on behalf of a child under the age of 18. This will normally be considered to be within the scope of reasonable grounds for the child. Including where they are now an adult. This may mean that this child will not have applied for EUSS for months or even years after the deadline has passed. This may also be in a situation that they did not realise that they needed to apply, until they required evidence of their right to work or study in the UK. In this instant once this child now an adult applies under the EUSS and will constitute reasonable grounds.

Case Example No 1 (non-exhaustive case scenarios)

Parents made applications for themselves and did not think they needed to for their child, so no child was submitted.
Parents of children ignored the settlement scheme and did not apply for themselves or their children.
The child was in care, and the Local authority overlooked the need to apply for his child.

  • Where someone is a victim of modern slavery or is in an abusive or controlling relationship.
  • Where a person was prevented from applying under the EUSS because they were a victim of modern slavery. This situation will normally constitute reasonable grounds and the case will be determined having considered the fact of the case and the evidence submitted to support the claim of modern slavery.
  • Where a person was prevented from being able to apply under the EUSS because they are of were a victim of domestic violence or in a controlling relationship. Individuals may fall victims to domestic violence or controlling behaviour at the hands of their partners, parents, or even siblings. The very situation they are in or were in was so significantly difficult for that individual that this result in the lapse of the deadline date.

Case Example No 2 (non-exhaustive case scenarios)

‘H’ the relevant EEA national arrived in the UK and subsequently become homeless being forced to living on the street, he was later offered employment with food and living accommodation instead of pay. In order to secure this employment, ‘H’ was forced to surrender his passport to the employer. the employer failed to return the passport back to ‘H’. There are present reasonable grounds to suggest ‘H’ is a victim of modern slavery.

‘L’ a non- EEA national and the spouse of her EEA national husband, she has faced years of domestic abuse from her husband, both physical and mental. she has a small child and fears her husband will take the child from her. ‘L’ husband keeps control of her every communication and movement and further keeps all her documents, including her passport. As a result of this situation, she was not able to apply for EUSS within the relevant deadline. This situation will constitute reasonable grounds for late application.

  • where a person has or had a serious medical condition, which meant they were unable to apply by the relevant deadline. Where a person is not able to apply in time owing to physical or mental restrictions as they might suffer or have suffered a loss of mental capacity prior to or leading up to the deadline in this circumstance these will constitute reasonable grounds.

Case Example No 3 (non-exhaustive case scenarios)

‘K’ is an EEA national; she is 80 years old and suffers from dementia, ‘K’ lives in a care home as she struggles with everyday tasks. The care home staff forget to apply for EUSS for ’K’ and only complete the application process after the deadline date this will satisfy the reasonable grounds threshold.

‘M’ is 27 years old, he contracts COVID-19 and is hospitalised. He is seriously unwell and is placed on a ventilator, and as a result he is not able to apply under the EUSS until much later, this will constitute reasonable grounds for late application.

  • where someone is isolated, vulnerable or did not have the digital skills to access the application process. There may be other practical or compelling situations as to why a person did not apply to the EUSS before the deadline. Such as an elderly person who is not able to use the internet, lacks literacy or lack of English language skills. Or a lack of a permanent place of residence therefore they did not have access to a computer or the required documents. There may also be situations where a person may not be able to apply for EUSS due to serving a custodial sentence.

Case Example No 4 (non-exhaustive case scenarios)

N has been resident in the UK since 2014 and was sentenced to imprisonment for 6 months. The prison confirms that there had been practical difficulties in facilitation and assisting prisoners with resettlement related applications. This situation will constitute reasonable grounds for late application.

P is homeless and has been living on the street and did not have access to a computer or documents and is not able to apply as a result he applies much later having been granted the required support from the local authorities this will constitute reasonable grounds for late application.

  • Where a person was unable to apply by the relevant deadline for compelling practical or compassionate reasons – including consideration as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The case may be that a person may not have been able to obtain the evidence they needed to submit in support of their EUSS application for compassionate reasons including in light of the COVD-19 pandemic such as not being able to provide the required identity documents to verify nationality owing to the delays in processing documents from their country of nationality as a result of a national lockdown attributed to the COVID-19 Pandemic in such instant a person applies late this will satisfy the reasonable ground threshold.

In each event, the long and short of it all is that you must apply as soon as reasonably possible and if you wish to rely on reasonable grounds for late application, this will need to be supported by documentary evidence to be successful.

Therefore, for those who have not yet applied for the EU settlement scheme because of their particular unique circumstance, all is not lost. You may contact our office for further guidance and assistance in the submission of your application under the EU settlement scheme.

Author: Ms Toqeer Fatima Shah

Senior Immigration Solicitor

Deo Volente LLP

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DV Solicitors
For more than 7 years, Deo Volente (DV Solicitors) has been delivering customized, pragmatic services to a diverse portfolio of customers. Located in the heart of the busy and bustling market town of Bedford—we further serve customers in Luton and throughout the United Kingdom.
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By: DV Solicitors
Date: July 19, 2021

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