The High Court has ruled that the EU Settlement Scheme is unlawful.
The case was brought against the Home Office by the Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA), a group set up to review the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit.
Under Part Two of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, any EU, EEA and Swiss national who lived in the UK before the transition period ended and applied before the deadline was able to continue to live and enjoy the benefits of residence such as work, study, access healthcare and social benefits.
The EU Settlement Scheme was designed to honour Part Two of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
EU nationals and their families are required to apply for status through EUSS.
Applicants who had lived for less than 5 years in the UK before 31 December 2020 were entitled to pre-settled status. Pre-settled status is a temporary status which expires after 5 years.
Applicants who had lived in the UK for more than 5 years at 31 December 2020 received were entitled to settled status, which is a permanent status.
Applicants with pre-settled status are expected to make an application for settled status when they become eligible, and before expiry of their current status.
If a person with pre-settled status does not complete a new application for settled status they are at risk of losing their UK residency rights.
The Court ruled that people with pre-settled status cannot lose their rights if they don’t make a second application to EUSS before the expiry of their pre-settled status.
This means people with pre-settled status will not lose their rights if they do not make an application for settled status when they become eligible. The Court said that there was nothing in the Withdrawal Agreement that said it was necessary for someone with pre-settled status to make a second application for permanent residence.
A person that has pre-settled status and has been living in the UK for five years is automatically entitled to settled status.
The Home Office has appealed the High Court judgement
If you need help regarding the EUSS, or for any issue related to UK immigration, do not hesitate to contact us!