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UNITED KINGDOM: Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules March 2022 | EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
March 22, 2022
Following the Home Office’s Statement of Changes of 15 March 2022, in this alert we focus on those scheduled changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) provisions of the Immigration Rules.
Effective from: 0900 on 6 April 2022
- A new provision is to be included, allowing for variation of applications where a valid application has been made but not yet decided under Appendix EU;
- Adjustments to suitability requirements, including ongoing UK residence and the deadlines for EUSS applications;
- Formalise within the Rules the current concession arrangements for an EUSS family permit to be issued in place of an EEA family permit (and relied upon in a subsequent EUSS application) where an EEA family permit would have been issued (including on appeal) to a dependent relative extended family member, or a person with a derivative right to reside, had the route not closed after 30 June 2021, and to allow those arriving to start their qualifying period of continuous residence in the UK after the end of the transition period;
- To bring within the Rules the current concession arrangements for an appropriate letter to be issued by the Secretary of State in place of an EEA residence card (and relied upon in a subsequent EUSS application) where an EEA residence card would have been issued (including on appeal) to an extended family member had the route not closed after 30 June 2021;
- To enable ‘Lounes’ dual nationals to sponsor relevant family members under the EUSS and the EUSS family permit notwithstanding the fact that they acquired British citizenship without having met free movement requirements to have held comprehensive sickness insurance in the UK as a student or self-sufficient person.
The EUSS allows EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK (which also includes family members) by the end of the transition period (30 December 2020), to acquire the immigration status needed to enable them to continue residing in the UK.
The EUSS family permit route has also had changes made which enables relevant family members to travel to the UK. The changes replicate the concession arrangements in place outside the Rules for an EUSS family permit to be issued in place of an EEA family permit; however, only in certain circumstances. The arrangements reflect the closure of the EEA family permit route after 30 June 2021 and permit those covered by them to apply to the EUSS following their arrival in the UK.
The alterations also enable a dual British and EEA citizen who exercised free movement rights in the UK before acquiring British citizenship and who has retained their EEA nationality of origin (a ‘Lounes’ dual national) in line with EU case law – to sponsor relevant family members under the EUSS and the EUSS family permit in certain circumstances. In brief, this is where the dual national acquired British citizenship without first meeting the free movement requirements to have held comprehensive sickness insurance in the UK as a student or self-sufficient person.
Organisations and individuals impacted by this development are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice. For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to the UK, please contact us.
This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Case for any case- or company-specific assessments.