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EUSS News Update

The Home Office through a letter dated 15 April 2024 to the ‘Immigration Law Practitioners Association’ provided the following response to concerns relating to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and clarifies its position on how:

  1. aspects of the ‘continuous residence’ period for EU nationals will be approached for COVID-19 absences, and for those who need to travel for up to 6 months during a 12-month rolling period
  2. its approach to extending or upgrading pre-settled status or withdrawing it
  3. the current approach for those now applying through the EUSS.

The response in summary

  • in relation to the ‘continuous absence’ period:
    1. an individual can exceed a 12-month period due to COVID-19 where it can be shown they were ‘prevented from, or advised, against returning earlier’ – implies evidence of this will need to be produced
    2. absences where those studying abroad during a rolling period can split this into more than one trip, where they have returned to the UK, for example on holiday.
  • during this year, the Home Office will use electronic systems to either extend those with pre-settled status, upgrade them to settled status or curtail leave (subject to a right of appeal before an immigration judge).

This will be through government information through HM Inland Revenue such as tax or benefit records or, by reference to ‘border crossing data’ – the data is undefined, but one would assume this implies using advance passenger information and signals wider use of electronic data in this area. It implies HM Immigration Officers will become more active at the UK’s border.

  • a more stringent approach to those applying through the EUSS now, as such applicants do not tend to have the same data as previous applicants who applied earlier.


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