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Changes to Pre Settled Status with specific scruple to Children born between 2013 and June 2021

By Dominic Magne

Holders of Pre settled status under the EU Settlement scheme should have received notification of changes to future entitlement.

There are changes, proposals and warnings.

The changes are :

From September 2023, Pre-settled status will be automatically extended by 2 years before it is due to expire

The proposal

The Home Office will start to automatically transfer those who have acquired pre settled status to settled status during 2024 once eligibility has been acquired. The Home Office informs:

“ A further, more detailed update will be provided before this process is launched.”

The Warnings

The warning is for you to Update your passport and contact details with the Home Office

If you are travelling to and from the United Kingdom you will need to update any new passport details onto the Home Office website to avoid delay and interrogation at the frontier. The mechanism is as follows:

By using the ‘Update your UK Visas and Immigration account details’ service at: -

https://www.gov.uk/update-uk-visas-immigration-account-details

or

By signing in and using the ‘update details’ function of the View and Prove service at :-

https://www.gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status.

You should update your contact details so that you are kept in the loop whenever the Government policy changes.

This is just one more thing for you to do.

Amongst all the other things that you have to remember to do.

Not now, 

but when.

Commentary.

Advice

If the Home Office update has been received by you then it should be saved to a backup facility where it can be accessed in the future.

If you have pre settled status and you are unaware of the message, then the uncertainty of a virtual immigration status will be self-evident.

Inferences

It is the job of the Immigration Officer to decide who is allowed to enter the United Kingdom and who is not.

Historically, permission to stay in the United Kingdom has been confirmed by the issue of a physical document or card. This document is valid for its duration. If the Home Office dispute it’s validity, it is for the Home Office to prove . The burden of proof lies on the Home Office.

Under the European Union Settlement Scheme , Immigration Status , is to be proved electronically. The onus now lies on you to maintain the Home Office records as up to date, because if you fail to do so, the burden of proving your entitlement to stay remains with you.

The Pre Settled and Settled Scheme was the first large scale exercise of granting immigration status without a separate physical document.

When you made an application for EU Pre Settled Status you did so by means of an App that registered the details of your biometric Passport.

Your immigration status is linked to your identity as recorded on the biometric details of the passport that was uploaded at the time of application.

Your passport will expire.

Updating your passport details is a mundane task of administration. Its necessity is likely to continue once settled status has been acquired.

Over the passage of time you may no longer rely on the contact details supplied at the time of application, but unless updated , the Home Office will continue to so communicate with you.

There is an inherent future obsolescence to the Home Office’s record of your status despite the provision of biometric information, both in procedure and substance.

Procedural anachronism

Specifically, in procedure at port, where verification of an identity whose passports details have changed but not recorded, will lead to delay.

And perhaps earlier, if Carrier’s controls prevent a person from embarking.

Specifically:-

Carriers may be fined £2,000 for every passenger arriving in the UK who lacks the required visa, including EU nationals unless they are protected under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Carriers might decline boarding if they do not believe you have Settled or Pre Settled status because your current passport does not match the records on which they rely.

Loss of status.

Also there is a risk for a significant cohort to their retaining the Immigration status itself , Specifically:-

The children of  EU citizens whose applications for pre settled status relied upon passports obtained before the age of six.

Fingerprints are not required for their passports, whilst the aging process itself undermines the reliability of the biometric information contained in the passport photograph .

Fingerprints are not required for their passports, whilst the aging process itself undermines the reliability of the biometric information contained in the passport photograph .

So only the non biometric passport details of such a child confirm identity.

As the EUSS settlement scheme relied upon the uploading of these passport details alone, and did not issue a separate document, failure to update passport records may lead to a loss of verification of a person’s Immigration Status.

If the passport your child presents at the border is not the same as recorded by the Home Office to confirm your child’s immigration status, then they will not be able to ascertain your child’s entitlement to stay in the United Kingdom.

It matters less now when such children are of an age to travel with their parents and can establish their eligibility through them. It may become a problem as they attain independence and travel alone.

This harm arising from an administrative failure to maintain Immigration records, is similar to the experience of the Windrush generation whereby the children of those who had emigrated from the West Indies to the United Kingdom in the 1950’s found themselves their whole life later, in the 2010’s excluded from the United

As a recent illustration of loss of citizenship by lex confusione, please do see : -

https://www.immigration-help.co.uk/blog/posts/the-british-nationality-regularisation-of-past-practice-bill

As a recent illustration of the Home Office's I.T. glitches see: -

https://ukandeu.ac.uk/citizens-rights-and-computer-glitches-is-digital-immigration-status-fit-for-purpose/

If the United Kingdom is to be your home, then it is advisable that you consider applying for British Citizenship once you have settled status so that your presence is not contingent upon the Secretary of State.

Of all the inducements to make you become a British Citizen, perhaps the most effective is the threat of a life time of low level administrative dross to be added to all the other mundane things you have to do.

About

Dominic Magne has worked in the field of Immigration Asylum and Nationality Law since 1992. He qualified as a barrister in 1997 and as a solicitor in 2001.

We believe that good, and thorough advice on your Immigration matters is the key to an appropriate and ultimately successful application to the UKVI. There is a flat rate charge of £320 for a consultation. Following the consultation a detailed advice letter is given, setting out the next steps.

To arrange a consultation, call +44(0)20 8399 3939 or email post@magne.co.uk 

To arrange a consultation, call +44(0)20 8399 3939 or email post@magne.co.uk