Date Published: 24.01.2024
Status: Past
Type: Residence
Outcome: No further action
Last Updated: 24.01.2024

Enforcement Reforms

Summary of Information

In August 2023, the IMA wrote to the Home Office to request further information about its decision to stop issuing 28-day notices.  A 28-day notice was issued to citizens who were encountered by Immigration Enforcement and did not hold either EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) status or an EUSS Certificate of Application but were potentially eligible to make a late application.

The IMA sought to assess whether the removal of 28-day notices presented any compatibility issues with the Withdrawal and Separation Agreements in relation to a citizen’s right to submit a late application to the EUSS.

Summary of actions and evidence

In its written response and supplementary guidance, the Home Office provided confirmation that removal of this notice does not affect an individual’s ability to make a late application to the EUSS.  The Home Office explained that any decision to progress with enforcement action would need to consider the individual circumstances of each case.  This includes the assessment of any vulnerabilities or support needs and any substantive evidence of EUSS eligibility (such as continuous residence in the UK by 31 December 2020).  In such cases, citizens will either be signposted to the appropriate support or, where appropriate, directed to make a late application to the EUSS.  They will be placed on immigration bail to allow them the opportunity to make an application to the EUSS within the UK.

Summary of Decision

Based on the information that has been provided, the IMA is assured that removing the 28-day notice policy will have no bearing on an individual’s ability to make a late application to the EUSS when there are reasonable grounds for their delay in applying and therefore does not present any compatibility issues with the Agreements.  The IMA has determined that it does not have reasonable grounds to believe that an inquiry into this issue may identify general or systemic failings in the implementation of the Agreements.  Furthermore, the IMA does not consider that it would be reasonable to explore this issue further by way of an inquiry at this time.

Finally, the IMA recognises it is likely that the Home Office will continue to amend and develop its enforcement practices to align with the wider immigration system. The IMA will continue to work with the Home Office and will seek further assurance as the need arises to ensure citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal and Separation Agreements are properly upheld.

Does this issue affect you?

The complaints submitted to us help build a picture of where there are common, wide-reaching, or systemic issues with how UK public bodies are implementing the Withdrawal Agreement(s) for EU and EEA EFTA citizens’ rights.