Citizens’ Rights’ Watchdog Calls For Resolution On Landmark High Court Case Implementation

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The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens Rights’ Agreements (IMA) is calling for a resolution on a landmark judicial review judgment against the UK Home Office relating to the implementation of parts of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

The judge ruled in favour of the IMA and clarified that the Withdrawal Agreement residence right of a person with pre-settled status does not expire for failure to make a second application to the scheme. This is provided they continue to meet the conditions for it.

The judgment also found that, irrespective of an application for settled status, those who have lived here for five years and have continued to meet the relevant conditions (as set out in the Agreements), are automatically entitled to permanent residence   rights under the relevant Agreement.

In the IMA’s view, the current Home Office approach of automatically applying a two-year extension to all pre-settled status holders shortly before they approach their current date of expiry does not go far enough to address the first aspect of the High Court’s ruling. This is because it could potentially adversely impact their residency rights.

The IMA is concerned that this  approach may continue to cause challenges for citizens, for example with employment or housing, due to the continued temporary nature of pre settled status being visible on official documents. However, status should not expire in practice providing the person continues to meet the underlying conditions.

The IMA is holding regular meetings with the Home Office to better understand its plans for how the judgment will be implemented. We understand that the Home Office is nearing a final view on proposals that seek to provide practical solutions for citizens. The IMA will continue to promote workable resolutions and monitor the effectiveness of any changes.

Miranda Biddle, Chief Executive of IMA said:

“The IMA is keen to ensure that citizens’ rights are upheld and the court’s ruling is implemented in a manner that provides clarity and practical resolution for citizens.

It is crucial that in implementing the judgment the uncertainties being faced  in relation to citizens’ ability to live, work and raise their families in the UK are addressed and concluded.

The IMA will continue to hold the Home Office to account and urge them to implement the necessary changes when finalised.”

Anyone facing difficulties accessing their rights is encouraged to contact the IMA for support. There are also a number of supporting organisations listed on our website who can assist with EUSS applications. If you would like to share information with the IMA on behalf of EU and EEA EFTA citizens, then please visit www.ima-citizensrights/report-a-complaint