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EU Settlement Scheme and adults using care services

22 February 2021

Who is this guidance for?§

This document provides information and guidance about the EU Settlement Scheme and its implications for vulnerable people who use social care services whether it be in their own home, residential setting, and/or access care support on a regular or infrequent basis. If you are responsible for providing care services, are a carer in any capacity, or know of an individual or family who may need to apply this guidance will help you to:

  • identify those who need to make an application and
  • provide practical support to apply to the scheme.

Further details are available in the main Government EUSS guidance.

This guidance has been developed by the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS). See also CPA’s information on the EUSS for care providers as employers.

Key Information for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members resident in the UK

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 30 June 2021

EU, EEA & Swiss citizens, may need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue living, working, studying and access public services, like the NHS, in the UK after 30 June 2021.

Irish citizens do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to live and work in the UK although they may do so if they wish. However, their family members may need to apply.

British Citizens do not need to apply. To note: Being born in the UK does not necessarily mean automatic right to British Citizenship. To check please access Check British Citizenship on the GOV.UK.  

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?§

The UK government has introduced a new form of immigration status to enable eligible European Union citizens, European Economic Area citizens, or Swiss citizens currently living in the UK or resident in the UK before 31 Dec 2020, to stay in the UK after the end of the transitional withdrawal period.

EEA citizens include nationals of the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.

If an application is successful an immigration status will be awarded which will be:

  • Settled - for people with more than 5 years of continuous qualifying residence

OR

  • Pre-settled – for people with less than 5 years of qualifying residence.

Applicants won’t be asked to choose which status they are applying for. Which status they are awarded depends on how long they’ve been living in the UK. Their rights will be different depending on which status they get.

The key point to note is that if awarded pre-settled status this can be converted to settled status when the five years of continuous residence is reached. This will not automatically be awarded, and a further application will need to be made.

Please note that whilst a new immigration points-based system came into force from 1 January 2021, this will not prevent eligible applicants making a successful application under the EU Settlement Scheme to stay in the UK. It is possible that some people will think they cannot make an application because of the new rules. As the deadline for applications is approaching, EEA citizens and their families are encouraged to submit their application even if they are currently waiting for evidence of ID or other documentation.

Who needs to apply?§

Except in a few cases, an individual needs to apply if:

  • they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • they are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, but their family member is (or is an eligible person of Northern Ireland).

This means an individual will need to apply even if they:

  • were born in the UK but are not a British citizen
  • have a UK ‘permanent residence document’
  • are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who does not need to apply – including if they are from Ireland
  • are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a British citizen family member.

Please note if an individual has children, an application will need to be made for each child separately.

Who else can apply?§

An application may be made if the individual is not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen but:

  • they used to have an EU, EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK (but they have separated, they have died or the family relationship has broken down)
  • they are the family member of a British citizen and they lived outside the UK in an EEA country together
  • they are the family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship
  • they have a family member who is an eligible person of Northern Ireland
  • they are the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • they are the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, or are the child’s primary carer.

However, they will not be able to apply online if they are not an EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen and contact should be made to the EU Resolution Centre to find out how an application should be made.

Who does not need to apply?§

An individual does not need to apply if they have:

  • indefinite leave to enter the UK
  • indefinite leave to remain in the UK
  • Irish citizenship (including British and Irish ‘dual citizenship’).

An individual cannot apply if they have British citizenship.

If the individual is an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and they moved to the UK before it joined the EU, then an application only needs to be made if the individual does not have indefinite leave to remain. If they do have indefinite leave to remain, the individual will usually have a stamp in their passport or a letter from the Home Office saying this.

People who may be a British Citizen§

It is important to note that after making enquiries with someone around their immigration status it is possible that you will discover that they are in fact a British Citizen in their own right, even if they have no passport or other written proof of citizenship. If this is the case, they cannot apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If proof of British citizenship is required, the individuals affected could be encouraged to seek written confirmation of this as soon as possible as this can sometimes be a lengthy process. If the person is not currently a British Citizen but may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship advice should be sought on whether they should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme now in order to ensure they have legal status after 30 June 2021. An application for British Citizenship can still be made later. 

You can check here: www.gov.uk/check-british-citizenship

Where can someone get support?§

The Home Office EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre can be contacted for advice and assistance on individual cases:

  • Tel 0300 123 7379 for applicants
  • Tel 0300 790 0566 for organisations helping others to apply

Information on the EU Settlement scheme is also available in a range of EU/EEA languages. See Settled status for EU citizens and their families: translations - GOV.UK together with a range of promotional materials.

An easy step-by-step guide on how to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and how to prove residence in a range of circumstances is available on the Citizens Advice website Immigration - Citizens Advice.

Citizens Advice also provide free phone advice: Tel 0800 144 884 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

How can someone apply?§

An application can be made online using the government website:

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status): Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme - GOV.UK

As part of the online application process, some people will be able to use the government app 'EU Exit: ID Document check to provide their identity. See the link to advice Using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app - GOV.UK

The online service cannot be used to apply to the scheme if the individual is not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and they are applying as:

  • the family member of a British citizen they lived with in Switzerland or an EU or EEA country
  • the family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship
  • the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, and they are in education - or someone who is the child’s primary carer.

Support with online applications§

Assisted Digital is free service is available over the phone and in person for people who do not have the access, skills or confidence to complete the online application form.

  • Contact We-Are-Digital by calling 03333 444 019
  • For people with hearing and/or speech difficulties, they can access this service on a smartphone, computer or tablet or text phone. Dial 18001 03333 445 675.
  • Email: info@we-are-digital.co.uk(Include a telephone number that you can be contacted on if possible).

Assisted Digital provides face to face support to fill in the application by attending an appointment at one of the community centres/libraries around the county – type in the postcode here to find the nearest centre.

For more information visit www.gov.uk/eu-assisted-digital.

Criminality checks§

Part of the application process requires applicants aged 18 and over to declare any criminal convictions. Children who apply will also undergo an automatic criminal check but are not required to declare convictions. This may cause alarm for some individuals and they may be reluctant to disclose a criminal history or apply. The Home Office has provided detailed guidance on this issue. There is no need to declare any of the following:

  • convictions that do not need to be disclosed (‘spent convictions’)
  • warnings (‘cautions’)
  • alternatives to prosecution, for example speeding fines.

Each application is looked at on a case-by-case basis. However, the Home Office has indicated that only very serious offences that would be likely to result in deportation, would result in an application being refused because of any criminal history. This is likely to be because of criminality that poses a threat to national security. This should reassure many individuals.

Specific Guidance for Case Workers§

The following are extracts from the EUSS main Home Office guidance. 

Applications in respect of adults with care or support needs§

This guidance provides information about how to deal with applications from adult applicants with care or support needs. Adults with care or support needs may include:

adults lacking the mental capacity to make their own decisions or with broader care or support needs such as those who may be residing in a residential care home or receiving care and support services in their own home, with long-term physical or mental health needs or a disability.

Applications made on behalf of an adult with care or support needs§

Some adult applicants with care or support needs may have been signposted to sources of support to assist them to make their application. These include the Settlement Resolution Centre, Assisted Digital and grant funded voluntary and community organisations.

Due to Covid 19 restrictions, access may be not be as widely available for Assisted Digital and ID Scanning services. Other adults with care or support needs may need someone to make the application on their behalf. The Home Office can accept an application made on someone’s behalf by an appropriate third party in a range of circumstances.

Applications can be made on someone’s behalf by for example:

If the person’s mental capacity fluctuates, then their consent must be sought, when they are able to give it, for an appropriate third party to make an application on their behalf if they are unable to apply themselves. In each case, you must be satisfied that the person acting on behalf of the individual either:

  • has the authority (in the general sense of permission or consent) to do so

or

Where you have concerns about the application, such as to why the applicant has not applied by themselves or whether the applicant is aware of the application, you must:

  • Contact the applicant where appropriate, to check the relevant authorisation provided is genuine before you deal with the application.
  • If it is not appropriate to contact the applicant, which will depend on how much you know about the severity of their needs, then enquiries with the person making the application on behalf of the applicant are to be pursued where possible.

If you still have concerns after making these enquiries, then you must consult your senior caseworker.

  • If there are any indicators that the applicant is at risk, for example of abuse, exploitation, or modern slavery, then you must first consult your senior caseworker.
  • A referral to the local authority adult safeguarding team may be required, or you may need to refer to the guidance on Victims of modern slavery which includes details on how to refer potential victims of modern slavery to the National Referral Mechanism.

It may be the case that a third party is unable to obtain or produce the ‘required proof of identity and nationality’ for the applicant because, for example, they may be unable to apply on their behalf for the relevant document or to renew this for them if it is out of date. In these circumstances, you must refer to ‘Other reasons document cannot be obtained or produced’.

Power of Attorney§

A Power of Attorney is a document that grants the holder (the attorney) power to make certain decisions on behalf of the person named in the document.

Someone who holds power of attorney for an individual may make any necessary application for immigration status (including under the EU Settlement Scheme) on their behalf as a result of the power of attorney or as a result of their general duty to act in the best interests of the individual. In any given case, you must be satisfied that the person is acting within the scope of their decision-making powers by checking the terms of the power of attorney, which must be provided to support the application. For example, the power of attorney may grant the holder general authority to take possession and control of the affairs of the person named in the document.

There are different types of powers of attorney according to the jurisdiction.

In England and Wales, an attorney will be appointed under either a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or an Enduring Power of Attorney – the forerunner of the LPA. You must be aged over 18 in England and Wales to be able to make a power of attorney and have capacity to understand what you are doing when granting this. 

You must check with the relevant office in the UK (the Office of the Public Guardian in England and Wales, or the relevant issuing office abroad if you have doubts about the document or the application.

Court appointed authorisations§

In cases where an individual has not made a power of attorney and now lacks the capacity to make decisions, arrangements may have been made to have a formal decision maker appointed by a court.

England and Wales: Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection

A deputy is authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves and where there is no power of attorney already in place.

A deputy is usually a close relative or friend of the person who needs help making decisions. In other instances, a person can be engaged professionally to act as a deputy, for example, an accountant, solicitor or representative of the local authority.

Appointed deputies may make any necessary application for immigration status (including under the EU Settlement Scheme) on behalf of an individual as a result of a legal duty in their court order (e.g. property and financial affairs), or as a result of their general duty to act in the best interests of the individual. In either case, you must be satisfied that a deputy is acting within the scope of their decision-making powers by checking the terms of their court order, which must be provided to support the application. For example, the deputy order may grant the holder general authority to take possession and control of the affairs of the person lacking capacity.

Legal Guardianship

An application can be made on behalf of an applicant by their legal guardian. You must be satisfied that there is evidence of a guardianship order in place.

Applications made by another appropriate third party§

An application can be made on behalf of an adult applicant with care or support needs by another appropriate third party, for example a friend, carer, social worker, support worker or legal representative. In each case, you must be satisfied that the person acting on behalf of the individual is authorised to do so or that they are acting in the best interests of the individual. Evidence that may satisfy you of this may include:

  • a letter from a doctor, health professional, social services department or solicitor confirming the circumstances
  • a letter from the applicant themselves, authorising someone to act on their behalf
  • evidence of a carer relationship, e.g. a Department for Work and Pensions letter confirming receipt of carer’s allowance.

The third party must provide their contact details when prompted at the end of the online application process or in the relevant section of the appropriate paper application form.

The third party must upload a letter in the evidence section of the online application form (or provide this with the appropriate paper application form) to inform the caseworker of the individual’s circumstances, including the reasons why the application is being made by a third party and their relationship to that individual. If this is not uploaded or included with the application, you must request it from the third party.

The third party must also ensure they are acting appropriately according to the requirements of the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). OISC is the regulatory body for the provision of immigration advice. Any third party supporting individuals to make an application to the EUSS must ensure their support does not constitute immigration advice, unless they are a registered immigration adviser with OISC.

Related external links§

Mental Capacity Act 2005

Make decisions on behalf of someone

Adults with incapacity: guide to assessing capacity

Victims of modern slavery

Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) registers

Office of Care and Protection

Panel Deputies: List of court approved professionals

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

EU Settlement Scheme and people who use services: how to offer practical support§

EU citizens who use your services and their family members might not know about the EU Settlement Scheme, or they might be anxious about the implications for them. Although it’s difficult to be sure, there are indications that people who rely on social care services might be less likely to have applied to the scheme, so they could need extra information and support to do so.

One issue is that older people are more likely to have been in the UK for a longer period, possibly from before the UK first joined the EU, and may believe that their residency status means that they don’t need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. While you cannot act as an advisor, you should encourage them and their next-of-kin to look at the official government information about who needs to apply, and signpost them to advice and support.

As a caring organisation, you’ll want to support the people who use your services and their families through what might be an anxious time. And you’ll also want to ensure that they can continue to live in the UK, use your services and access funding and related services such as the NHS. To be able to do so, they’ll need to apply to the scheme.

You have a legal duty not to discriminate against EU citizens as prospective or current people who use your service.

You should not act as formal advisers, but you should make the people who use your services, and their next-of-kin, those with Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or friends aware of the EU Settlement Scheme.

You may wish to liaise with local services, such as Citizens Advice, Age UK, and the Carers Trust, to understand if they’re running any local awareness campaigns or support programmes to help people who use services and carers to apply for the scheme. You might want to share local contact details for these organisations with the people who use your services, or arrange for the organisations to provide support.

You can find a list of national organisations, and search for local organisations, who can support vulnerable applicants applying to the EU Settlement Scheme on the GOV.UK website.

As with all communication, you’ll need to meet people’s access needs.

If you run residential care services, you might want to:

  • arrange a residents and family meeting to share information about the EU Settlement Scheme, how to apply and what advice might be available locally. You might also like to use this meeting to tell residents what you’re doing to support staff from the EU.
  • print leaflets and materials to give to residents, their next-of-kin, and friends. Information is available in a range of languages.
  • provide supervised access to computers during set hours to enable residents to apply to the scheme with support from their family or friends if needed.
  • search for local organisations that can help. Visit Get help applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you run home care services, you might want to:

  • write to or email the people who use your services, and their family or friends, sharing web links to official Government advice or printouts, and information about any local advisers who can support them with their application. You can search for local organisations by postcode, or see a range of national organisations that can help. Visit Get help applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • follow up with them once they’ve received their email or letter – if English isn’t their first language, they might not fully understand what they need to do.
  • ensure your staff are aware of the information being sent to the people they support.

Sources of advice for applicants§

Government information

Stay in the UK ('settled status'): step by step

Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status)

EU Settlement Resolution Centre 

For questions about an application call 0300 123 7379 or use the online form www.eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk.

Advice on supporting another person with an application – call 0300 7900566

Translated information 

The guidance on the EU Settlement Scheme has been translated into 25 European languages and Welsh. Visit www.gov.uk/settled-status-translations

Assisted Digital 

This free service is available over the phone and in person for people who do not have the access, skills or confidence to complete the online application form.

Contact We-Are-Digital by calling 03333 444 019

For people with hearing and/or speech difficulties, they can access this service on a smartphone, computer or tablet or text phone. Dial 18001 03333 445 675.

Email: info@we-are-digital.co.uk (Include a telephone number that you can be contacted on if possible).

Assisted Digital provides face to face support to fill in the application by attending an appointment at one of the community centres/libraries around the county – type in the postcode here to find the nearest centre.

For more information visit www.gov.uk/eu-assisted-digital.

ID document scanning service 

This service is available to complete the proof of identity step if people do not have access to the EU Exit: ID Document Check app. There may be an administrative fee to use this service.

For a list of locations, visit www.gov.uk/eu-id-scanner-location.

Please note that many locations are currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions or may only be offering this service by appointment only. Check the situation first before making a special visit to an ID scanning location.

Community organisations 

If people need more support with their application, they can contact a nearby community organisation. Visit www.gov.uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme

Useful links and contacts for care providers§

CPA EUSS guidance for care providers

EU Settlement Scheme

EU Settlement Scheme – translated information materials

Contacts for care providers§

There are many people and organisations who may be able to help care providers:

  • A local care association or one of the national associations which make up the Care Provider Alliance could offer peer support, resources and advice (see list below).
  • Other local services, or networks such as the Skills for Care Registered Manager Forums, which can provide peer support for first line leaders.
  • Local authority and health care commissioners – who may have concerns, but who won’t want to see a service close unless it is unavoidable.

Care Provider Alliance

Associated Retirement Community Operators

Association for Real Change

Association of Mental Health Providers

Care England

National Care Association

National Care Forum

Registered Nursing Home Association

Shared Lives Plus

United Kingdom Homecare Association

Voluntary Organisations Disability Group

Local care association - contacts

Disclaimer§

The CPA and ADASS assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the publication of this communication. The information contained in this update is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness. The CPA and ADASS are not accredited to provide immigration advice. This publication is intended to provide general guidance regarding the EU Settlement Scheme.