The Home Office rules arising from Brexit, relating to EU citizens with pre-settled status requiring them to apply for settled status after five years of residence in the United Kingdom has been found to be "wrong in law" by the High Court this week.

In response to Brexit the Home Office introduced the EU Settlement Scheme in 2018 to facilitate applications from EU citizens living in the United Kingdom to regularise and upgrade their status to enable them to continue to live and work in the UK. Questions were raised at the time regarding certain groups of people that may, for various reasons, not be aware or capable of making such an application. Such as older people who settled in the UK many decades ago who believed that they did not need to apply or were unaware of the scheme, some parents of children born in the UK who mistakenly believed that their children were automatically UK citizens by virtue of the birth in the UK. Oxford University's Migration Observatory that informs on public policy and international migration, flagged up concerns suggesting that there was insufficient easily accessible information about the scheme that would leave many sectors of EU immigrants unaware or unable to apply.

The Independent Monitoring Authority for Citizens' Rights Agreements (IMA) is an independent non-departmental public body funded by the UK Government successfully challenged the Home Office forcing a judicial review. The CEO, Kathryn Chamberlain, commented that she was "pleased that the judge has recognised the significant impact the issue could have had on the lives and livelihoods of citizens with pre-settled status in the UK"...This judgment that the current system is unlawful provides clarity," Also the3million, a consumer rights organisation vigorously campaigned against the scheme.

Vincenzo Senatore, senior partner, commented "many vulnerable people found themselves in breach of the immigration laws in the UK due to a lack of understanding EU Settlement Scheme," Vincenzo further commented "the High Court ruling by Mr Justice Lane provides a second chance for EU citizens to upgrade the immigration status and remain in the UK. It is difficult to say how, in light of the judgement, any rejections can be rectified. The judge clearly stated that residential rights could only be lost in the circumstances defined in the EU withdrawal agreement and failure to apply to settled status from pre-settled status was not such a circumstance."

Giambrone & Partners' immigration lawyers pointed out that as the Government acted improperly in the way it has implemented the post-Brexit settlement scheme for EU citizens seeking permanent residence in the UK, by putting damaging prejudicial obstacles in the way of applicants and for some individuals it may be extremely hard for individuals to re-gain their previous position. Our expert immigration lawyers have extensive experience at advising and guiding clients through the challenges of applying for citizenship or immigration status in a foreign country. Our lawyers specialise in managing complex issues.

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