HMRC encourages late EU Settlement Scheme claims despite deadline passing – full details

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EU Settlement Scheme rules allow European claimants to apply for settled or pre-settled status, both of which grant access to UK state benefits, pensions and NHS services. Eligible claimants had to finalise their claims by June 30 but following unprecedented last minute demand, the Government allowed late claims to be processed so long as there were acceptable mitigating circumstances.

Today, HMRC released its latest Employer Bulletin for August 2021.

Within this bulletin, HMRC encouraged further late claims.

HMRC said: “If any of your employees have not yet applied, you may wish to encourage them to apply for a valid immigration status as soon as possible.

“Late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme may be accepted where there are reasonable grounds. Eligible employees should apply online.”

This followed similar calls from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

On July 1, the DWP urged claimants to act even where they may have missed the deadline.

The DWP detailed: “EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members can make a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.

“You must apply as soon as possible. You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.”

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The Government explained a person can still apply for the EU Settlement Scheme beyond the original deadline if they had “reasonable grounds” for why it was missed or they had certain extenuating circumstances.

For some would-be claimants, the deadline of June 30, 2021 did not apply and this would be the case if the claimant was one of the following:

  • The family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein who was living in the UK by December 31, 2020, and they joined them in the UK on or after April 1, 2021
  • They’re applying for a child who was born or adopted in the UK on or after April 1, 2021
  • The family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland, but they could not move back to the UK by December 31, 2020 without the claimant – they must be from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • Exempt from immigration control, or they stopped being exempt from immigration control after June 30, 2021
  • They’re in the UK with limited leave to enter or remain in the UK (for example, if they’re here on a work or study visa) which expires after June 30, 2021
  • A family member of a British citizen who they lived with in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein – they must have lived with them in that country by December 30, 2020, and returned to the UK with them

For those who are applying as a family member of a British citizen who they lived with in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, claims must be made by March 29, 2022.

The DWP detailed there are “many different reasons” that can be included as reasonable grounds for missing the deadline.

However, it noted there was not a “complete list” of reasons available and claimants can still act and have their application considered even if they do not hit certain examples.

The DWP detailed reasonable grounds could include some of the following:

  • You’re a child, or applying for your child, and you did not know you needed to apply
  • Your parent, guardian or local authority did not apply for you when you were a child
  • You have, or had, a medical condition which prevented you from applying

The Home Office also provided a certain amount of leeway for late claims.

On June 30, the Homs Office said: “We are seeing exceptionally high volumes of applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

“If you are on the website waiting to apply, please continue.

“Your application will be accepted in time, even if it is submitted after midnight.”

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