Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Reasonable grounds for a late application
The following is a brief summary of the section of the Guidance for Home Office caseworkers which outlines the situations that mean an EEA national/family member could be allowed to apply to the EUSS after the deadline of 30th June 2021.

This includes where someone with Pre-settled status applies for Settled status after their Pre-settled status has run out.

If someone hasn’t met the deadline they need to apply to the EUSS in the normal way but including an explanation of why they applied late.

How late?
In general, the more time which has elapsed since the deadline, harder it will be to satisfy the Home Office that there are reasonable grounds for the delay.
But see 1. below for an exception.

Examples of Reasonable Grounds for a Late Application given in the guidance

1. They were under 18 at the time of the deadline and their parent or guardian, or - if a ‘looked after child - the Local Authority, has failed to apply on their behalf in time – even if they are now an adult.

2. They lack the mental capacity to apply on their own, or their physical problems prevented them, or have care/support needs.

3. They had a serious medical condition (or was undergoing significant medical treatment) in the months before, or around the time of, the deadline. This can include a difficult childbirth or where a new-born child is in need of medical treatment.

4. They were a victim of modern slavery or trafficking.

5. They were in an abusive or controlling relationship, or a family member of someone in this situation.

6. There may be other compelling practical or compassionate reasons which prevented them from knowing they had to apply or prevented them from applying on time. The guidance gives these examples: 
• a lack of permanent accommodation which meant that they did not have access to a computer or to the necessary documents 
• being unable to go online 
• being unable to speak English 
• having complex needs and were not aware of the support available to help them apply 
• being hampered in accessing the support because of the COVID-19 restrictions or
• the COVID-19 restrictions prevented them obtaining evidence of identity and nationality or residence*
• or there were other compelling practical and compassionate reasons for them being unable to obtain evidence of identity and nationality or residence*
• they overlooked the need to apply or they overlooked the deadline, or they failed to get round to applying by the deadline, in light of their personal circumstances 
• they have lived in the UK for a significant period of time and having done so did not realise they must still secure status under the EUSS
• they needed to apply on a paper application form (eg a non EEA national with derivative rights_ and did not request this from the EU Settlement Resolution Centre until shortly before the deadline.

*The Home Office may accept alternative evidence of identity and nationality where the applicant cannot obtain or produce the required document due to circumstances beyond their control or due to compelling practical or compassionate reasons.
The guidance says: “ ….rather than for reasons to refuse, you must take a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering, in light of the circumstances of each case, whether there are reasonable grounds “.

What if they are refused the late application?
The Home Office will send a letter explaining why they have been refused.
They can then apply for an administrative review or appeal.
They may need immigration advice: search for registered Immigration Advisers by postcode here.

If their appeal fails they could apply for support from the Voluntary Returns Scheme to return to their home country.
In some circumstances the service can support someone to find somewhere to live, find a job or start a business in their home country.
People can apply online or phone 0300 004 0202. 

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