To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of requiring employers, landlords and public officials to signpost EU citizens and their family members to the EU Settlement Scheme in the event that they have reason to believe that they may be eligible for a late application to the scheme.
14 September 2021
The responsibility for making an application ultimately lies with the individual. However, employers, landlords and public officials have an important role to play in providing support, and the Home Office remains committed to ensuring those who are eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) can apply. £22 million of funding has been awarded to a network of 72 organisations across the UK, which includes local authorities and local government associations, and we recently undertook to provide further funding for the period between 1 October 2021 and 31 March 2022. This is to ensure information and assistance gets through to those who are hardest to reach, and no one is left behind.
As of September, the Home Office has delivered over 410 events reaching over 29,000 stakeholders, including employers, landlords, financial institutions, educational establishments, umbrella organisations, local authorities, foreign administrations and citizens, about the EUSS. We continue to work closely with employers and landlords to ensure information is effectively cascaded through stakeholder networks, listen to feedback and adapt our communications to ensure maximum effectiveness.
We have published guidance for employers and landlords, which clearly encourages them to signpost prospective or existing employees and tenants who have not applied to the EUSS and do not have any other form of UK immigration leave to make an application. For applications made from 1 July, EEA citizens and their family members are able to evidence their right to work or right to rent once they have submitted a valid EUSS application and the employer or landlord has contacted the Home Office.
To further support EEA citizens living in the UK, the Home Office has worked closely with HMRC and DWP on a programme to identify people who may not have applied to the EUSS but are eligible. Letters have been sent out to these individuals giving them step by step, practical advice on how to apply to the Scheme.
Under our flexible and pragmatic approach to late applications, where
Immigration Enforcement encounter a person without status under the EUSS who appears to be eligible, they will be provided with a written notice giving them an opportunity to apply to the scheme, normally within 28 days.