06.06.2022

IMA launches inquiry to investigate EUSS Certificate of Application delays

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The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA) has launched an inquiry to establish whether the Home Office has fulfilled its obligation to issue a Certificate of Application immediately to EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applicants.

As part of the inquiry citizens are asked to complete the IMA’s call for evidence .

EU, EEA EFTA citizens and their family members who applied to the EUSS but are awaiting the outcome of their application should receive a Certificate of Application immediately. This certificate can be used to evidence their rights, for example the right to work, rent or access benefits, while their application is being considered.

The inquiry comes as the IMA has received a number of complaints and information from citizens experiencing delays in receiving their Certificate of Application. The IMA will examine the extent, nature and cause of any delays in issuing the certificates and assess whether there is any breach of the Withdrawal and Separation Agreements. The IMA will also look at the impact any delays are having on citizens who are unable to exercise their rights until the Certificate of Application is issued.

Citizens are encouraged to share details of their experiences. Paper copies of the survey can be provided upon request by contacting the IMA.

Any organisation which provides support to EU citizens and other members of the public are invited to submit representations to the IMA by emailing IMAinquiry@ima-citizensrights.org.uk. The third party consent form for representatives can be downloaded here and, the IMA’s privacy notice can be found on the website.

As part of the inquiry, IMA staff will review existing complaints, take accounts from citizens and consider information from stakeholders and other third parties. The IMA will also investigate the policies and processes adopted by the Home Office for issuing Certificates of Application. This will include performing on-site visits and interviewing Home Office staff.

Dr Kathryn Chamberlain, IMA Chief Executive said:

“We recognise the potential impact this important issue could have on people’s lives and their rights. That’s why it’s crucial that we gather information from those affected to ensure we come to informed conclusions, and where appropriate, make recommendations to put things right.

“An inquiry will not lead to results overnight, therefore in the meantime we strongly encourage citizens experiencing ongoing issues to seek individual support through organisations which provide tailored advice.”  

Information about organisations which provide advice and support for EU and EEA EFTA citizens and their family members can be found on the IMA website.

The inquiry’s terms of reference can be found here.