Date Published: 21.02.2024
Status: Past
Type: Residence
Outcome: No further action

EUSS applications for new-born children to those citizens who hold pre-settled status

Summary of information

The IMA received a complaint from an EU citizen and information from stakeholders regarding the 3-month deadline for an in-time application to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for a child born in the UK to parents with pre-settled status under the EUSS. There were concerns that it may not always be possible to make an in-time application, for example because of not having the necessary identity document for the child.

Summary of Actions and Evidence 

The IMA has carefully considered the issues identified and reviewed the Home Office’s processes around EUSS applications for new-born children.

In accordance with Article 18(1) of the Withdrawal Agreement and Article 17(1) of the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement, the UK is able to require EU and EEA EFTA citizens resident in the UK by the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, and their family members, to apply to the EUSS for residence status in order to obtain their rights under the Agreements. Where a family member joins them here after the end of the transition period (which includes a child born to, or adopted by, them in the UK or overseas), the Agreements stipulate that an application for that residence status has to be made within 3 months of arrival, unless there are reasonable grounds for the delay in making the application.

When the issue was first raised with the IMA in November 2022 whilst the “who can apply” guidance available to citizens did make reference to the 3 month deadline, the “applying for your child” guidance was not explicit and there was no reference to the 3 month deadline. However, since August 2023 the wording within the “applying for your child” guidance has been updated to reflect that there is a 3-month deadline for such joining family member applications.

Information is available to citizens about what documentation is required to make an EUSS application. Citizens are signposted to the Resolution Centre if they are unsure of what identity and residence documents are required or have difficulty in providing these.

Finally, safeguards are in place to ensure citizens are able to make a late application to the EUSS, including on a child’s behalf. The Home Office caseworker guidance sets out non-exhaustive examples of reasonable grounds for late applications and it has specific guidance on late applications in relation to children.

Summary of Decision 

On the basis of the information available at this time, the IMA has determined that it does not have reasonable grounds to commence an inquiry.

No further action will be taken at this time, but should the IMA receive any further information or complaints about this or related issues, these will be considered on their merits and in line with IMA’s internal processes

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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.