Void or pending applications under the EUSS
Claims according to which 80,000 EU nationals could lose their right to work and live in the UK due to errors in the settlement scheme applications have been refuted by the Home Office.
More than six million applications were made to the scheme between March 2019 and the deadline of 30 June 2021.
Approximately 3 million of these were granted settled status, 2.3 million were granted pre-settled status, about 110,000 applications were declined, while 79,800 were deemed invalid, and a futher 80,800 were withdrawn or void.
The 80,000, which have alledgedly been declared void, is made up of people still awaiting decisions from their applications.
The Home Office spokeperson stated that “applications are withdrawn or voided for a variety of reasons – none of which are the Home Office’s fault.
The Home Office continue to encourage individuals who are eligible to apply for the scheme and secure a status. An application can be declared invalid or void when the person is not eligible for the scheme or they have made a mistake in their application.
The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement allows EU residents in the UK to make a late application within a reasonable period of time if there are reasonable grounds for them failing to submit their application by the deadline. Therefore, reapplication is possible even if the first application was void.
However, due to a large backlog of applications to be processed by the Home Office, getting a decision could take months.
EU nationals still awaiting a decision on their application retain their right to work and reside in the UK as long as they were lawfully resident in the UK before the end of 2020.
According to Home Office guidance where a prospective employee has a Certificate of Application (CoA) confirming a valid application to the EUSS made on or after 1 July, employers should verify this with the Home Office Employer Checking Service (ECS).
Our Immigration Manager Karendeep Kaur pointed out that the onus now falls on the worker to ensure their paperwork is in order and their employer knows their status.
“If applicants are struggling to have their status approved, one remaining option would be to apply for sponsorship from an employer as a skilled worker”.
If an individual has failed to apply to the EUSS in time an organisation can potentially sponsor them as a skilled worker, provided the requisite skill set is met, salary level is awarded and the individual satisfies the English Language requirement.
“The sponsorship option comes at a price but given the skills shortages across many sectors, it may now be the only option forward.”