30 June 2021 was the deadline for general applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). 18,500 applications were made from Newcastle addresses by March, 2021, with final figures expected next month. Thank your help for promoting the Scheme. Newcastle had nearly three times more applications than any other council area in the North East and over 50% of applications in Tyne and Wear. This reflects all the hard work people put in to get the message out to apply.

A new status : From 1 July 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members need a valid UK immigration status to be in the UK. This can be through EUSS, if resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 or sometimes joining a family member, or through a valid visa. From 1 July, people can expect to be asked to show their digital status to prove a right to work or rent from a private landlord. Mortgage companies may also be in touch. Agencies like the NHS, HMRC and DWP have automatic access to records to check a person’s eligibility for free healthcare, benefits and access to public funds. In terms of education, it is not the place of schools and nurseries to check immigration status. A government website states: ‘School admission authorities must not refuse to admit a child on the basis of their nationality or immigration status nor remove them from roll on this basis. It is the responsibility of parents to check their children have a right, under their visa entry conditions, to study at a school’. It is strongly urged that families look to resolve any immigration issues for their children so as not to build up problems when the child looks to access a job, training, university, etc.

Pending applications : We know there was a late national surge in applications with 570,000 cases currently pending. Numbers are not available for local areas. Not all of the delay is due to processing issues. People need to send all documents requested by the Home Office so that their application can be considered. This may well be a stressful time for those who applied later, but anyone who did make an application by the 30 June deadline will have their rights protected (pending a final decision on the detail of their application). Applicants who applied online will have a Certificate of Application. This can be used to evidence rights. Certificate of Applications can be viewed via a person’s view and prove account. Private landlords and employers can confirm protected rights for an individual online too. All checks need to be reasonable and EUSS does not remove anyone’s protections under equality and other legislation.

Late Applications : There are specific and limited circumstances under which the Home Office will look at a late application to the EUSS, but reasonable grounds for not applying before the 30 June deadline must be demonstrated. Non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds is available on GOV.UK and can include :

  • Where a parent, guardian or Local Authority has failed to apply on behalf of a child
  • Where a person has or had a serious medical condition, which meant they were unable to apply by the relevant deadline. Evidence will be required
  • If someone is a victim of modern slavery or is in an abusive relationship
  • Someone who is isolated, vulnerable or did not have the digital skills to access the application process
  • Where a person was unable to apply by the deadline for compelling practical or compassionate reasons - including in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

Late applications should be made online at www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme

Local Help and Advice : Newcastle City Council has updated its EUSS webpage with a wide range of advice including on how to get in touch with local support organisations able to support individuals who might need that bit of extra help.