The Home Office has shown a 700% increase in one month in people being refused settled or pre-settled status (source: the Independent). This consisted of a jump from 200 refusals in May, to 1,400 in June. Should you be worried about this?
We know that COVID is causing delays in many things, and this is no exception, the application process will be delayed and nobody knows how long this will go on for. Therefore, employees should be encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Relevant employees can apply using any device such as a smartphone, or a laptop. They will also need a proof of their identity and residence in the UK, unless they have a valid permanent residence document. The documents can either be scanned in using the app, or posted in. If the employee is likely to need their documents quickly then this can cause delays with the COVID situation. To be eligible for settled status, employees usually need to have lived in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12-month period, or 5 years in a row, and be able to provide proof. Employees will need to apply a second time when changing their pre-settled status to settled status.
The scheme application deadline is the 31st of June 2021. Although this date seems far away, it will soon come around and if you continue to apply employees who require the approval and don’t have it, then this is a breach of immigration law. Worst case scenario, you’ll need to dismiss them for illegality, but do take advice before embarking on this route.
The link for applications can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status