June 23, 2023
We have written to the Home Office to highlight a serious problem for people who do not realise that their application for status under the EU Settlement Scheme has been refused. This is because the decision is only sent by email, and when they log into their online account it continues to show them that their application is pending.
As we evidence in the letter, emails are not guaranteed to reach recipients' inboxes. Therefore, it is often vulnerable people, who will miss the opportunity to exercise their Withdrawal Agreement right of appeal to challenge an incorrect refusal simply because they did not know their application was refused, and their time window to appeal has closed.
Even if emails are delivered successfully however, there are many vulnerable applicants to the EUSS who do not have email accounts and who have relied on someone else (sometimes rogue advisers) to make EUSS applications on their behalf. Others may have set up a temporary email address just for the purpose of the application, changed their email address, and/or lost access to a previous email address. In all these cases, people may not have received their decision email, and would want to be able to rely on their digital status accurately reflecting their legal status.
It is vital that the UKVI account accurately reflects at all times the correct legal status of the applicant. Many people, while waiting anxiously for a decision from the Home Office, will be regularly checking their online status for any information.
We have co-signed the letter with the3million, East European Resource Centre, EU Rights and Brexit Hub, Gyros, Here for Good Law, IRMO - Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation, New Europeans UK, Polish Migrants Organise for Change (POMOC), Rights of Women, Settled, The Romanian and Eastern European Hub, University of Exeter.
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