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Concern over updates to UKVI accounts of EU Settlement Scheme applicants with refusals
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The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA) has released an update on the concerns raised with the EU Settlement Scheme and the implications of the Home Office’s updates to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) accounts of EU Settlement Scheme applicants who received a refusal decision between 27 June 2021 and 19 April 2022.
The UKVI accounts showed a Certificate of Application rather than a refused status until a Home Office update in January 2023. The IMA sought to understand why certificate of applications were available to individuals whose application shad been determined and whether there were any consequences arising from this.
The Home Office has indicated that prior to April 2022, the EUSS digital status system did not have the capability to reflect that an administrative review or appeal was pending in respect of an individual’s case. As a result, the IMA understands that a decision was taken to suspend reflecting ‘refused’ status on UKVI accounts to ensure individuals could continue to access WA rights while any administrative review and/or appeal was pending. From April 2022, the ability to reflect pending administrative reviews and appeals was possible. Refusal decisions made from this point were reflected on digital status. It was also necessary to conduct a retrospective exercise to reflect refused statuses on the Cohort’s UKVI accounts, and this was undertaken in January 2023. The IMA understands that the decision made to continue access to a CoA was to ensure citizens’ rights protections.
The UKVI online account system has been in place for some time and yet there was no facility to mark a refusal was being challenged until April 2022. Nine months later, retrospective updates to application portals were made. The online system supposedly being rolled out to all nationalities for all visa types by the end of 2024, so these reports remain worrying.