IMA statement on concerns over EU Settlement Scheme

Public bodies ,
Social security ,

A spokesperson for the IMA said, “On the 18th January this year, the Home Office made us aware of an exercise to update UKVI accounts of EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applicants refused status between June 2021 and April 2022, where those accounts had continued to show a Certificate of Application rather than a refused status.

Ongoing access to a Certificate of Application meant that individuals’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement were protected pending final determination of any administrative review or appeal, but also means that, after exhausting their appeal rights, potentially 141,000 people continued to enjoy rights to which they were not entitled, including receiving benefit payments. We understand the government departments affected are working through the implications.

The Home Office has confirmed that this only affects individuals who received a refusal decision between 27 June 2021 and 19 April 2022. Anyone who has been granted pre-settled or settled status is unaffected, and they do not need to take any action.

The IMA is concerned that this situation arose and the impact it could have on those affected. It has therefore written to the Home Office to seek clarity on what steps have already been taken to remedy it and what further steps will be taken.

We are seeking assurance that the EUSS  digital system is fit for purpose, maintained and audited to reflect accurate digital statuses, and accurately available on demand for all eligible citizens.

We will consider the response of the Home Office to our request for information before deciding on what next steps we may take.”