A photograph of an adult and child pair of wellies on a door welcome mat

The High Court has ruled that the Government’s policy requiring people to make a second application to the EU Settlement Scheme (‘EUSS’) or face losing their rights to live and work in the UK is unlawful.

EU Settlement Scheme

Currently all people with pre-settled status must apply for settled status after they have lived in the UK for five years. If they do not apply, they will lose their rights to live and work in the UK. In the judgment handed down on 21 December, the court found that this policy was unlawful and not compliant with the UK’s obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated as part of the UK’s exit from the EU.

The court also found that those granted pre-settled status are entitled to reside permanently in the UK once they have resided for five years and shouldn’t be denied this just because they didn’t make an application for settled status.

Will there be a change to the EUSS while the court process continues?

This is a landmark decision and could have significant ramifications for the rights of millions of people living in the UK. However, it is understood the Government is seeking permission to appeal the decision. Whilst the court process continues there will be no changes to the EUSS. It is important that holders of pre-settled status continue to apply for settled status when they become eligible.