According to the Home Office it is generally taking one to four calendar days to process applications for settled or pre-settled status under the new EU settlement scheme.
However, they have warned that it may take longer if:
- a caseworker needs to request more information from you
- you are applying as a minor and your application is not linked to an adult
- you submit a paper application
- you have a relevant criminal record
- you are a non-EEA or non-Swiss citizen and are applying based on a relationship you haven’t relied on in a previous application to the Home Office.
Individuals who are unable to complete the ID check through the app and so need to post their passport to the Home Office should expect them to hold it for around three days (plus posting time), although this is not guaranteed.
The alternative is to attend one of the ID scanning locations. The latest list of locations can be found here.
Anyone who paid a fee under the scheme before this cost was removed should now have had it refunded, directly back to the card they paid with. If this has not happened applicants should contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre.
The guidance on how to apply under the scheme has now been translated into various European languages.
Over 200 ‘assisted digital locations’ have been set up where applicants can get assistance. This is aimed at those who “do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to complete the form” and does not include immigration advice or completion of the ID check.
In addition 57 organisations have been awarded funding specifically to help vulnerable or hard to reach EU citizens with their applications. They include community organisations and disability and homeless charities, who will be expected to gain appropriate accreditation with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner before providing advice.
This article is from the May 2019 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals.