The EU Settlement Scheme opened to eligible members of the public on 21 January 2019. Most applications made by EU citizens and their family members are being approved. However, frustratingly, some applicants have received a refusal decision on their settled status application and have instead been told they will be eligible for pre-settled status.
Options to consider upon receiving an EU Settlement Scheme refusal decision
If an application for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme leads to a refusal decision and notification that the applicant will be eligible for pre-settled status, there are a number of options open.
Applicants can accept the decision to grant pre-settled status: This means that rather than having indefinite leave to remain (which is the formal name for settled status), they will be granted temporary leave, referred to as pre-settled status. This means that they will need to make a further application for settled status in the future.
Applicants can make a new application under the EU Settlement Scheme: If a new application is made, further evidence can be filed and if this demonstrates that the applicant meets the requirements of the scheme, the Home Office will then grant settled status. Depending on the specific circumstances, this may be quicker than seeking an administrative review of the decision.
Applicants can seek an administrative review of the EU Settlement Scheme refusal decision: If the applicant believes that they were eligible for indefinite leave to remain and that the refusal decision has been made in error, they can, at the moment, apply for an administrative review of the decision. This is unless the refusal decision is made on ‘suitability grounds’. In that case, the challenge would currently need to be brought by way of a judicial review.
This option may be preferable in cases where the applicant has already submitted all relevant evidence with the original application.
An application for an administrative review must be made within 28 days of the date of receiving the refusal decision. The fee is £80 and this will be refunded if the administrative review is successful.
If the UK leaves the EU with an agreement in place, it is expected that there will be a full statutory right of appeal in place for those who apply after 30 March 2019.
How we can assist
We understand how frustrating a decision to grant pre-settled status will be for EU citizens and their family members who have lived in the UK for more than five years.
We are therefore currently offering a complimentary initial review and advice service for those who have received an EU Settlement Scheme refusal decision and who may be unsure of their options. We also provide advice on how to apply under the scheme.
If you need assistance, please contact one of our immigration specialists. Details of how to do this are here.