The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Administrative Review Process Explained
The effects of Brexit on EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom have been substantial, where their immigration rights have been reshaped by the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).
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The EUSS is a key program designed to safeguard the privileges of citizens from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland residing in the UK by allowing them to seek either settled status or pre-settled status. The scheme has ensured their ability to reside, work, and utilise public services in the UK after Brexit.
Nonetheless, not every judgment on a submitted EUSS application is correct, leading to unexpected and sometimes unfair refusals by the UK Home Office. Generally, if a refusal occurs, then applicants can seek an EUSS appeal to overturn the refusal in the first-tier tribunal. However, there are also cases where appeals are also not offered as an option, and the refusal letter states that an applicant can seek an administrative review.
In this article, Dr Bernard Andonian, will discuss the EU settlement scheme administrative review process and how to navigate it.
Understanding the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Administrative Review
The EU Settlement Scheme Administrative Review process is designed for applicants who believe there has been an error in the decision of their EUSS application. An administrative review is a request for the Home Office to review a previous decision. For the EU Settlement Scheme, this can include situations where:
- a decision made that rejects your EU settlement scheme application for settled or pre-settled status,
- a decision to revoke your authorisation to work under the EU Settlement Scheme,
- or a decision to give pre-settled status rather than settled status.
The EUSS administrative review process is solely concerned with identifying whether an original decision is accurate based on the information and evidence provided at the time of the application. It does not allow for the submission of new information or supporting materials that were not included in the first application.
One of the major benefits of an EU Settlement Scheme Administrative Review is its affordability compared to other means of challenging decisions. To apply for an administrative review, there is a cost of £80 per person, making it quite a cheap solution for many. Additionally, the fee will be reimbursed if the administrative review is successful and the initial judgment is retracted as a result.
In addition, applications for administrative review, in this case, can be faster than other forms of appeals or litigation, such as an appeal to the first-tier tribunal or a judicial review, offering a resolution within 28 days of the date of placing the request. However, in some complex cases, it may take 6 months or more to obtain the result.
Understanding and navigating the EU Settlement Scheme Administrative Review process can be complex. Applicants may benefit from seeking professional help, like from our experience with administrative review solicitors at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, who have the necessary expertise to assist in navigating the process effectively.
Applying for an EU Settlement Scheme Administrative Review
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the administrative review process for EUSS refusals:
- Confirm your Eligibility: Ensure that the decision you received from the Home Office can be reviewed as an administrative review. These could include a refusal of settled or pre-settled status, a decision to cancel your settled or pre-settled status, or being granted pre-settled status instead of settled status.
- Timing: The administrative review request must be submitted within 28 days of the date shown on your decision email or letter. To confirm that your proposal is fair, you must abide by this deadline.
- Submit an Application: The application for a review can be completed online. It’s vital to clearly state the reason for the review, pointing out the specific error you believe has been made in the decision. This is where legal assistance can prove valuable, helping to articulate your case effectively.
- Pay the Fee: The cost for an administrative review is £80 per person. Remember, the expense will be reimbursed if the decision is changed solely due to a mistake identified in the review.
- Wait for a Decision: Upon the submission, the Home Office will contact you to confirm receipt. A different decision-maker from the original application will review your case. Generally, you can expect to receive the result of your application within 6 months, although this could vary based on the complexity of your case.
It is vital to understand that during the administrative review process, no new evidence can be submitted. The reviewer will only assess the information provided at the time of the original application. For this reason, you must be thorough when initially submitting your application as to why you believe there has been an error by the Home Office.
Preparing a Strong Case for EUSS Administrative Review
When preparing for an administrative review of the EU Settlement Scheme, it’s important to understand the potential errors that the Home Office might make. These could include misunderstanding the evidence you provided, applying the wrong policy, or even administrative errors like losing or misunderstanding the documents provided during your application.
Your application for a review should be based on facts and precise identification of these errors. This is why gathering relevant evidence, documents, and supporting information at the time of the original application is crucial. Even if you believe your case is straightforward, seeking professional assistance, like from Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, can significantly improve the odds of success.
The Outcomes of EU Settlement Scheme Administrative Review
Once the requests for administrative review are complete, there are several potential outcomes:
- The Original Decision is Upheld: In this case, the decision to refuse or cancel your settled or pre-settled status remains, and the Home Office maintains that no error was made. The charge will not be reimbursed in this instance.
- The Initial Decision is Overturned: If the reviewer identifies an error in the original decision, it will be withdrawn, and a new decision will be made. You may then be granted settled or pre-settled status. In this case, the £80 fee will be reimbursed.
- The Judgment is Withdrawn, but a New Error is Identified: In rare cases, the original decision may be withdrawn due to an identified error, but another error may be spotted that leads to the same outcome (refusal or cancellation of your status). The fee will not be reimbursed in this situation.
If you make an administrative review and the original decision is kept after, you may wish to explore alternative avenues, such as judicial review, if necessary.
How Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors Can Help
If your EU Settlement Scheme Application has been refused it can be a tough realisation especially for those who are not familiar with the process, particularly if your settled or pre-settled status was cancelled or refused. Experts like our immigration solicitors in London can advise you on the best course of action to take if this is the case and also provide you with comprehensive legal support at every step.
At Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, we bring expertise and experience in EU Settlement Scheme Administrative Review cases. We deeply understand the Home Office processes and can help you identify case working errors that may have led to an incorrect decision.
Our role includes the following:
- Reviewing Your Case: We thoroughly review your original application and the decision letter from the Home Office. This helps us understand the context and identify any potential errors in the original decision.
- Preparing Your Administrative Review Application: We provide assistance in accurately completing your application for an administrative review. This includes articulating the reasons for your request and pinpointing any identified errors in the original decision.
- Guiding You Through the Process: We provide step-by-step guidance throughout the administrative review process, keeping you informed about timelines and what to expect at each stage. This support extends to dealing with any further communication from the Home Office.
- Providing Next Steps if the Decision is Upheld: If the original decision is upheld, we advise on the best next steps. This might include lodging a new application under the EU Settlement Scheme or seeking a way of judicial review.
Contact us today, and let us help you take the first steps toward a successful administrative review application.
FAQs about EU Settlement Scheme Administrative Reviews
If you miss the 14-day deadline, it is typically not possible to apply for an administrative review under the EU Settlement Scheme. However, in special events, the Home Office may regard a late application. These exceptional cases usually apply to convincing reasons beyond your control.
Yes, you can stay in the UK while you’re waiting for the result of your administrative review. Your rights will naturally continue as they were under the initial decision until the outcome of the review.
Yes, you may be able to apply for an administrative review if you were hoping to receive settled status but instead received pre-settled status. The review will help decide if a mistake was made during the decision method.
You should explore other possibilities if your administrative review request is refused. You should speak with an immigration solicitors to explore your options. These could include seeking an judicial review if applicable.
Yes, you can withdraw your submission for review. However, you must do this before the Home Office makes a decision on your review. If you withdraw your request, the fee will not be reimbursed.
No, a different decision-maker who was not involved in the initial finding should review your application. This is to ensure impartiality in the review process.
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Dr Bernard Andonian – the Co-Founder of Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors, is an experienced Immigration Solicitor, former Judge, and recipient of a PhD in Law from the University of West London. He has over four decades of experience practising UK Immigration, Human Rights and Civil Litigation Law. He has served on the Law Society Immigration Law Panel, achieved numerous groundbreaking decisions in higher courts and is featured in the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.