The deadline for EU Settlement Scheme applications has passed on 30th June 2021. Since the start of the Scheme in August 2018 (this includes the initial pilot period, as the Scheme was widely opened to everyone in March 2019) until the end of the application period, there were over 6 million application submitted in the UK.
This was of course not the end of the Scheme, as there are provisions for late application for those with reasonable grounds to apply. We have covered this topic in a previous blog post. We have been reached by many people who missed the deadline and needed support with late applications, and we were looking forward to learned how this trend looks in the figures.
In late February, the Home Office published more detailed, quarterly statistics and we decided to have a closer look on the figures for Scotland and Scottish local authorities. You can access tables with data on application submitted in Scotland by 31st December 2022 by clicking on the button below:
According to the latest statistics from the Home Office, until 31 December 2022, there have been 325 190 applications to the EU Settlement Scheme submitted in Scotland and 319 080 of them have been concluded.
Out of the concluded applications nearly 56% of them have resulted with settled status and 38% with pre-settled status. Over 6% of concluded applications have other outcome: 10 160 applications were refused, 5 790 were withdrawn or voided and 4 470 were invalid.
6 110 applications (nearly 2% of all concluded applications) were still outstanding as of 31st December 2022.
In the second sheet of our analysis, we have compared the figures from December 2022 with December 2021 and calculated the change in each category of applications.
We wanted to see how much has changed within one year of 2022 and if there are any interesting trends that could be observed. We have decided to point out just a couple of them in the period mentioned, but we encourage you to have a closer look at the tables and find more details about the EUSS applications in your local authority.
- The first thing that we have noticed is significantly lower number of outstanding applications in Scotland in relation to the end of 2021. Despite the fact that within 2022, there were over 20 000 new application submitted in Scotland, the Home Office has managed to conclude nearly 25 000 in the same period. This is a very welcomed change and gives hope that in the nearest future there will be less applications that are pending for a long time. There was, however, at the end of 2022, still over 6 000 outstanding applications and we will be looking very closely, how this figure will be shrinking in 2023.
- On the other hand, there is a worrying rise of the number of refused applications that shows nearly 5 000, which is almost 49% of all refused applications in Scotland since launching the Scheme in August 2018. In 2022 the number of refused applications was almost the same as those which were granted pre-settled status. There could be many reasons for this. We have observed that the Home Office caseworkers have become stricter is processing applications. Also due to the pandemic and multiple lockdowns that lasted until 2022, there might be more complex cases where it was more difficult to provide residence evidence or individuals have broken continuity of their residence while living outside the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic. There could be potentially some EUSS application submitted by individuals who arrived in the UK after the end of the transition period, and subsequently have been refused. It is, however, difficult to state with any amount of certainty, which of these factors could play the most significant role.
- As expected, from the application that were concluded in 2022, majority were granted settled status, however the number of pre-settled status applications is still high (around 20% of concluded applications). This could be explained by the rising number of Joining Family Member applications that perhaps contributing to this number. Unfortunately, we do not know how many of these type of application have been submitted. This also indicates that we may still expect a constant flow of new applications, even after nearly 2 years after the application deadline.
- When comparing data of the total number of applications submitted by each nationality with our analysis of top 5 nationalities for each local authority, we can see that they are almost identical. Four nations with the highest number of submitted applications: Poland, Romania, Italy and Spain, are also those who can be seen in top 5 of most local authorities: 32, 31, 22 and 17 respectively (out of total 32 Scottish local authorities). They are followed by: Bulgaria, Lithuania, Germany, Portugal, Latvia and France in the terms of total applications, and: Lithuania, Germany, Bulgaria, Latvia, Hungary and Portugal it the terms of appearances in top 5.