Nine in 10 appeals raised by European Union citizens challenging Home Office decisions regarding their right to stay in the United Kingdom as part of the EU Settlement Scheme after Brexit have been successful, a new report published by a legal charity revealed on Tuesday, while calling for a reform of the mechanism used to examine challenging casesMOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd December, 2019) Nine in 10 appeals raised by European Union citizens challenging Home Office decisions regarding their right to stay in the United Kingdom as part of the EU Settlement Scheme after Brexit have been successful, a new report published by a legal charity revealed on Tuesday, while calling for a reform of the mechanism used to examine challenging cases.
The Public Law Project (PLP) conducted a study using publicly available Home Office data. The charity concluded that 89,5 percent of 325 appeals brought by EU citizens were successful as of September 12.
Appeals resulted in the granting of settled status in the UK to EU citizens, overturning a previous decision granting pre-settled status. The majority of cases were overturned based upon appellants providing new evidence to the Home Office, the report stated.
The success rate of appeals to decisions relating to the EU Settlement Scheme is drastically higher than the 3.4 percent average success rate of appeals brought against the Home Office in 2016-2017, the charity reported.
PLP also stated that an "effective redress mechanism" was needed for those citizens whose applications have been subject to rejection on a number of occasions.
The charity noted that the only mechanism to appeal incorrect decisions is administrative review, where a different official from the same department as the initial reviewer, assesses the decision for casework errors. Tribunal appeals are yet to be legalized, while judicial reviews are costly, the report noted.
The charity also reported that the Home Office has refunded the 80 Pounds ($103.97) administrative fee for filing an appeal on 60 percent of occasions. Many applicants choose to re-apply, rather than challenge a Home Office decision in order to avoid this fee, PLP stated.
In October, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that there have been over 2 million applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, a program designed to allow EU citizens to remain in the UK after Brexit. EU citizens and their family members can apply to the scheme until December 2020.
According to the EU Settlement Scheme regulations, those who have resided in the UK for five years are eligible to receive settled status. EU citizens who have resided in the UK for less than five years are eligible to receive pre-settled status, which grants limited rights but can be changed once the applicant can demonstrate five years' continuous residence in the United Kingdom. The highest number of applications are citizens from Poland, Romania and Italy.
There are approximately 3 million EU nationals living in the United Kingdom who face an uncertain future when the UK leaves the European Union. On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that if he secures a majority at the upcoming December 12 general election, he would complete Brexit by January 31, 2020.