EU Settlement Scheme

EU Settlement Scheme

The United Kingdom (UK) has left the European Union (EU) and the rules on free movement of people no longer applies to the UK.  The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme has now passed.  If you are worried about your status you may find the information below useful.  

This information is not legal advice and is provided to help you make your own decision about what action you may need to take.  

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) was introduced to offer EU, EEA, Swiss citizens and their eligible family members living in the UK before the end of the transition period the opportunity to protect their right to live in the UK after the transition period ended.  The scheme also protected other rights including access to healthcare, benefits and pensions.  Applications to the EUSS closed on 30 June 2021.

Irish nationals do not have to apply to the EUSS as they have alternative rights to residence but could apply if they wanted to.  Family members of Irish citizens who are not Irish or British who don't have indefinite leave to remain in the UK do need to apply to the EUSS to continue living in the UK.  Irish nationals and their families can get more advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs

From 1 July 2021, anyone who did not apply to the EUSS no longer has a valid UK immigration status.  This means you could be considered as unlawfully resident in the UK.  You could lose your right to work, any benefits you receive could be stopped and you could even be deported or detained if your immigration status is not resolved.  

You can find out more about the EUSS here.

Can I still apply?

The government have announced some limited and specific circumstances to allow some people to make a late application to the EUSS.  If you make a late application you may your lose rights until you receive a decision from the Home Office.  

The Home Office may issue you with a 28 day notice which will ask you to resolve you lack of immigrations status by submitting a late EUSS application. 

Who can make a late application?

If you want to make a late application you need to be able to show a good reason why you didn't apply earlier.  If you can't do this the Home Office is unlikely to accept your late application and you may lose your right to remain in the UK.  

The Home Office will consider the reasons why you missed the deadline before assessing your applications. so make sure you explain everything clearly.  Examples of people who may be able to apply late or reasons the government have said may be reasonable grounds for a late application could include:

  • Children: You will need to explain why an application for a child living in the UK was not made before the deadline.  For example you may not have realised that a child born in the UK needed to apply to the EUSS.  
  • Physical or mental capacity: You will need to provide evidence if you believe that you or someone you know didn't have the physical or mental capacity to apply to the EUSS before the deadline.
  • Serious medical condition or significant medical treatment: You will need to provide evidence if you weren't able to apply before the deadline as a result of a serious medical condition or if you were receiving significant medical treatment.
  • Victims of modern slavery: Please don't worry.  You will not have to repeat difficult information if you are a victim who is recognised by the National Referral Mechanism.  If someone isn't already recognised as a victim of modern slavery their case will be considered by the Home Office safeguarding team.
  • Abusive or controlling relationships: In these circumstances the Home Office are required to take a flexible and pragmatic approach. This means they won't usually ask victims to provide specific evidence but they may ask for more information to support your application.
  • Ceasing to be exempt fro immigration control: Anyone who is exempt for immigration control, for example diplomats, can, if they have reasonable grounds apply to the EUSS up to 90 days after they cease to be exempt.
  • Other compelling practical or compassionate reasons: This is a general category that other reasons may fall into.  You will need to make sure you are very clear when explaining the specific reasons for your late application.
  • Document or status under EEA Regulations: If  you have a biometric residence card and didn't know you could no longer rely on this to remain in the UK you may be able to submit a late application.  You will need to explain why you thought you could still rely on your other documents and why you didn't apply before the deadline. 

How do I make a late application?

If you want to make a late application to the EUSS you should use the same online form that was used before the deadline passed.  You will need to provide the reasons why your application is late and any supporting evidence.  If you can't demonstrate good reasons for making an application the Home Office is unlikely to accept your application and you may lose your right to live and work in the UK, any benefits you receive could stop and you won't be able to access free healthcare and other services.  

The Home Office has published guidance for late applications which you may find helpful.  This guidance also applies to:

  • Family members applying to join a sponsor using the family permit route;
  • People who have leave to remain under another part of, or outside of, immigration rules; and
  • People who are no longer exempt from immigration control. 

If you are not sure about your own or a family member's immigration status you should seek immigration advice.

What will happen after I apply?

Once you have completed your late application the Home Office will contact you and either ask for more information or let you know if your application has been successful.  

You must respond to all requests for further information from the Home Office as quickly as you can. If you fail to reply and the information you have provided is not enough your application may be refused.

If your application is successful you will be granted either settled or pre-settled status.  If you're granted pre-settled status but think you're entitled to settled status you can seek an administrative review

What if my application is unsuccessful?

If your application is unsuccessful you will receive a letter from the Home Office telling you this.  If your application is refused you should speak to a regulated immigration adviser immediately.  Do not go to anyone who is not regulated for help.  You can get free help if your application has been refused by calling the North East Law Centre's advice line  on  0191 230 4777 every Friday from 10am to 1pm.  

The Home Office EUSS Resolution Centre remains open to take your questions on 0300 123 7379

Where can I get help?

You can get help with a late application or an administrative review by contacting:

Riverside Community Health Project

Riverside Community Health Project can offer appointments to help with late applications on Mondays and Wednesdays between 09:30 and 12:30. 

Email:  Phone: 0191 226 0754

The Children's Society North East

Email:  Phone: 0191 349 9481

You can get help with late applications, administrative reviews or if your application has been refused by contacting

The North East Law Centre

Phone: 0191 230 4777 - Friday 10am to 1pm  

The Home Office EUSS Resolution Centre remains open to answer questions on 0300 123 7379

How do I prove I have settled or pre-settled status?

If you are from a country covered by the EUSS an employer, bank, landlord or other organisation may ask for proof that you have the right to live, work and access services including benefits. 

You can do this by going online to get a 'share code' which will last for 30 days.  The process is similar to sharing your driving licence details when you hire a car.  All requests for share codes should be reasonable.  A Home Office guide gives more information.

Is there anything else I need to do?

If you are granted settled or pre-settled status you must keep your records up to date.   You can do this on the Home Office website.  It is vitally important that you do this as things like share codes can only be generated based on the information the Home Office has on their database.

There are some people you should tell about your status including your landlord or mortgage company, your GP and any other medical services you use and your employer.  If you aren’t sure if you need to tell an organisation, speak to them to find out if they need to know.

If you have been granted pre-settled status you should make a note of the date by which you need to apply for settled status.

How do I move from pre-settled to settled status

You can apply to 'upgrade' from pre-settled to settled status when you can prove that you have five years continuous residency in the UK.  

Everyone granted pre-settled status will have there own deadline for applying for settled status.  You should keep details of this somewhere safe and make sure you don't miss the last date by which you can apply.  Remember your date may not be the same as other people in your family so it's important to make sure you keep a record of them all. 

The Home Office has said they plan to send out reminders but it is your responsibility to apply to move from pre-settled status to settled status on time so you shouldn't wait for a reminder letter.  If you don't get your upgrade information in on time then you can submit a late application if you can show good reason why you didn't apply on time.   The guidance for late EUSS applications also applies to late applications to move from pre-settled to settled status.

Will there be any changes at the border?

The Home Office say you shouldn't see any substantive changes at the border.  You can reduce the need for checks by keeping your EUSS information up to date and making sure your travel documents are registered to your EUSS status.

Can I check an employee's EUSS status?

All employers have a responsibility to prevent illegal working.

For guidance on conducting checks see:

Employers can check a prospective employee's right to work, the type of work they are allowed to do and any time limits on the government's Right to Work website.  Employers are not required to check the EUSS status of current employees who started work by 30 June 2021.

Can I check a tenant's EUSS status?

To help landlords and letting agents stay on the right side of the law the Home Office has published updated guidance on Right to Rent checks which will help you check whether a prospective tenant has the right to live in the UK.  It is illegal to discriminated on the grounds of age, disability, ethnicity or race, gender, sexuality or religion and you must not use the EUSS to review your portfolio.  

Landlords and letting agents can get advice and information by calling the national helpline on 0300 790 6268 between 9am and 4.45pm from Monday to Thursday and between 9am and 4.30pm on Friday.  

Landlords and tenants can also get free advice and support from the Private Rented Service Newcastle.  

Useful information

Protection under the Equalities Act and other UK equalities law is not affected by the EUSS.  If you think you are being targeted because of your ethnicity it may be a hate crime or incident and you should report it.  

If you have any questions about the EUSS you can contact the Home Office EUSS Resolution Centre on 0300 123 7379

The UK will not recognise EU, EEA and Swill national identity cards for entry into the UK after the 1 October 2021 unless you have EUSS status.

You can someone's immigration status and their right to live in the UK, access services, apply for benefits or to open a bank account here

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Did you know?

If you didn't apply to the EUSS before the 30 June 2021 you may not have right to continue living in the UK.  You could lose your home, your job, your right to access services including healthcare and benefits and could even face deportation.  

Check the late application process now to see if you can still apply.  

Government has repeatedly said that anyone who applied before 30 June deadline will have their rights protected until their application is decided, as set out in law.  When you apply online you will be issued with a Certificate of Application which you can access through view and prove to show that you have applied and that your rights are currently protected.   If you applied by post you should contact the Home Office Resolution Centre on 0300 123 7379 for advice. 

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