EU citizens and their families living in the UK on 31 December 2020 and who wished to stay were asked to apply for either:
- settled status (indefinite leave to remain) or
- pre-settled status (limited leave to remain until they have been here five years and convert to settled status)
Irish citizens and people with indefinite leave to remain did not have to apply.
The deadline for applications was 30 June 2021.
EU citizens and their family members who did not apply do not have the right to remain in the UK after 1 July 2021.
Anyone who has not applied or received settled or pre-settled status would technically be here illegally and:
- it would be illegal for them to work
- they would no longer be entitled to benefits
- they would face charges for using the NHS
- secure status via the late application process immediately or
- seek urgent advice if they now wish to stay in Scotland
The UK Government is promising a "pragmatic and flexible" approach to late applications. Anyone with a certificate proving they have applied will have their legal rights protected while their paperwork is processed.
The Home Office says that the EUSS scheme remains "indefinitely" open - but only if the individual can show they had reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June deadline.
The Home Office has published guidance (see pages 26-44) on its approach to late applications, including what constitutes reasonable grounds for failure to meet the deadline.
The guidance is not exhaustive and states that every case must be considered in light of its particular circumstances.
Examples of reasonable grounds include:
- children (including children in care and care leavers
- physical or mental capacity and/or care or support need
- a serious medical condition or significant medical treatment
- victims of modern slavery
- abusive or controlling relationship or situation
- other compelling practical or compassionate reasons
For those who have not applied already, support will remain in place until 30 September 2021 to help with late applications.
EU benefits claimants
In July 2021, the Home Office will write to citizens in receipt of benefits who have still not applied.
It will encourage them to apply before actions are taken that could result in the loss of benefits.
This will give the citizen a further 28 days to make a late application to EUSS.
Those who fail to respond to the Home Office letter will be referred to DWP for further action.
DWP will issue a further letter to claimants in September 2021. This will encourage them to apply for EUSS before claim suspension action is taken.
Citizens who have not applied 28 days from the date on that letter will be subject to benefit suspension.
Following benefit suspension, the citizen will be given a further 28 days to apply for EUSS.
If, after this final 28-day period, the citizen has still not applied for EUSS, the claim will be terminated.
Anyone who hasn’t applied to the EUSS should do so quickly to ensure that benefit payments don’t stop.
Access to benefits for non-UK nationals does ultimately depend on their immigration status and there will come a point when benefits will be stopped for those who have not applied for or been granted status.
Arrived after 1 January 2021
EU citizens who arrived in the UK for the first time on or after 1 January 2021 cannot apply for Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status. They arrive as Short Term Visitors.
If they wish to remain for more than 6 months, they must apply for a Long Term Visa (for example, to study, work or join a family member).
Non-EU family members of EU citizens can only enter the UK after 1 January 2021 if they already have one of:
- EUSS family permit
- UK-issued EEA family permit
- UK-issued biometric residence card
Citizens Advice Scotland
- EU Citizens' Support Service: 0800 916 9847.
- Angus Citizens Advice
- Arbroath Office: 01241 870661
- Montrose Office: 01674 673263
- Forfar Office: 01307 467096
Welfare Rights team at Angus Council
Cannot help with applications, but may be able to help in a financial crisis.