Home Office updates guidance on reasonable grounds for late EUSS applications

An amendment to the EU Settlement Scheme has been set from the 1st July 2021. Therefore, any Swiss citizens, EU or EEA citizens who have yet not applied for the pre-settled or settled status under the EU settlement scheme by this date will be accounted for living in the UK unlawfully. However, in order for an application to be made late, it must be under reasonable grounds of a valid explanation. A guidance to see if you are eligible to apply after the date provided by Home Office can be found on the EU Settlement Scheme (pages 26-44).

The reasonable grounds for the application being set late is considered to be a list set by Home Office which is non-exhaustive, meaning to verify a case by reasonable grounds will be on a case-by-case basis and will vary depending on the particular circumstances:

Lack of Capacity

If an individual who needs to apply lacks the capacity both physically or mentally to put forward their own application or lives under the care or dependence of another are considered to be accepted under the ‘reasonable grounds’. The Home Office requires evidence to support the claim of applying late. 

Medical Condition or treatments

Where an applicant is undergoing a medical condition, or even a medical treatment at the time of the treatment, will normally establish reasonable grounds. 

Victim of slavery

Victim of slavery also constitutes to a reasonable grounds by Home Office. Providing evidence of this may be difficult and so as long as the ground is in correspondence under the National Referral Mechanism, there will be no further evidence required by the applicant.

If a referral cannot be placed by the applicant under the National Referral Mechanism it is advised that they go through it internally via the Home Office safeguarding team where they will be further advised towards the National Referral Mechanism.

Victim of abuse or control

There may be situations where an applicant is controlled or abused in a situation that makes them vulnerable and unable to make the application. The evidence provided of this must be flexible and could be any sort of ill-treatment; or any evidence or information that can support your grounds of reason for being late. 

It is considered by the Home Office that though there are important situations people are in that prevent them from applying on time, people may also be delayed due to a compelling practical or compassionate reason:

  • Did not have access to internet so were unaware of deadline or unable to make an application
  • Lacks the ability to know how to use a computer properly
  • Has little to no understanding of english language, limits the ability to successfully complete the application
  • They were detained, in prison or under immigration and were not released till after the deadline of the EUSS application

Again, as for all other reasons, the same rule applies that evidence must be provided.

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