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Business Immigration Solicitors

Covid-19 Updates: EU Settlement Scheme Applications (31 March 2020)

Date: 31/03/2020
Duncan Lewis, Business Immigration Solicitors, Covid-19 Updates: EU Settlement Scheme Applications

The Home Office reports that EU Settlement Scheme applications continue to be processed, although during this critical time it will take longer than usual.

However, at the same time the Home Office has confirmed that in line with the latest Public Health England advice, some of their EU Settlement Scheme application routes and support services have temporarily changed as follows:

ID document scanner locations

The decision has been made, to suspend all of the ID document scanner locations following the latest Public Health England advice to protect staff.

Postal route for submitting identity evidence

The postal route for submitting identity evidence is also currently suspended. The EU Settlement Scheme is unable to accept any documents by post at this time. Furthermore, all of the UKVI offices are closed and verification of the documents at biometric appointment is not possible either.

Any documents already submitted by post by EU applicants and their family members will be returned.

EU Exit ID Document Check App

Applications can still be made online using the EU Exit App available for Android and iPhone users. This is now the only available option for identity checks.

At the time of writing there were no reported issues with regards to applications under the scheme from EU nationals. The above changes primarily appear to be negatively affecting the non-EEA family members of EU nationals. While the majority of the applicants are limited to only one option of self-verification, others reportedly complained of having no such option at all.

At present, non-EEA family members can only verify their identity and status by scanning a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or Biometric Residence Card (BRC). However, many non-EEA applicants informed us of experiencing difficulty with verification of their residence permits while using the EU Exit App. It appears, that the app does not read or accept all of the existing types of documents confirming residence status as a family member. It is not clear yet whether this issue keeps occurring due to a technical error with the app.

After the temporary removal of the postal route and scanning locations, many of non-EEA nationals are now struggling to apply under the scheme and may be anxious about their status in the UK. We would like to remind applicants that the deadline for applications under EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021 and reassure those who need to regularise their status, that they still have 15 months to do this.

Settlement Resolution Centre (SRC)

The Home Office has also officially confirmed that SRC will no longer be answering telephone calls. It will, however, continue to respond to email enquiries.

Our firm have already made enquiries with regards to the recent ID verification issues and we will be publishing updated information on our website as soon as we receive a response from EU Settlement Team.

Author Kate Guseva is a caseworker in the immigration department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors. She works under the supervision of director Vicash Ramkissoon. Kate has experience dealing with Tier 1 and Tier 2 Points Based System (PBS) migrants; as well as family visa applications entry clearance and in-country, based on private and family life; indefinite leave to remain; and naturalisation applications.

Contact Kate on 020 3114 1192 or at KateG@duncanlewis.com

Contact Vicash on 020 3114 1105 or at vicashr@duncanlewis.com.

Our immigration team continues to operate and provide legal advice and support during this time. If you currently having difficulty with your application under the EU Settlement Scheme, please get touch with us by email: privateimmigration@duncanlewis.com or call us on 020 3114 1192.

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