Settled status: right to appeal

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:45 am on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration 10:45 am, 5th March 2019

I was going to come on to talk about administrative review, which is available in the event of deal or no deal to those who are refused leave under the scheme on eligibility grounds. Under the settlement scheme, eligibility is focused primarily on how long an individual has been in the UK; it is not about demonstrating that individuals have been exercising free movement rights but simply about proving identity and that they are here. Administrative review will be able to correct any errors that might be made in calculating the time period, if necessary by considering new evidence. The hon. Gentleman will also be aware that application under the EU settlement scheme is free—I welcome the change that the Prime Minister made by removing the fee. It would be open to any individual simply to reapply, rather than go through an appeal or administrative review process, because there is no charge.

When an applicant is refused on suitability grounds, they will not have a right to administrative review. Refusals on suitability grounds will be made, in particular, if there is evidence of serious criminality. However, where people are refused on criminality grounds and subject to deportation, they can make a human rights or protection claim against their removal; they will have a right of appeal under existing legislation if that claim is refused. In addition, applicants who are refused leave under the settlement scheme have the right to apply for judicial review of the refusal, as we have heard. Such remedies exist now for those refused under the EU settlement scheme.

We are committed to protecting EU citizens, and I hope that what I have said provides reassurance to hon. Members that adequate remedies are already available to those refused leave under the settlement scheme.