What should an employer do if an employee's application for settled status is not successful?

Employees who are European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss nationals, who are in the UK prior to the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, have been able to apply for settled status, to obtain the right to remain indefinitely in the UK. An applicant who has not been resident in the UK for five years will be granted pre-settled status, which can be converted to settled status after five years' residence.

The deadline for applications for settled or pre-settled status was 30 June 2021. See What should an employer do if it becomes aware that an EEA national employee does not have settled or pre-settled status? for information on late applications under the EU settlement scheme.

Settled or pre-settled status can be refused on grounds of eligibility, for example if the individual is not an EEA national (or a qualifying family member), or has not been resident in the UK. It can also be refused on grounds of suitability, for example if the individual has been convicted of a particularly serious crime or is deemed to be a threat to public security.

If an application is refused, the applicant may be able to apply for an administrative review of the decision. An employer could consider providing an employee with access to legal assistance for an administrative review. Ultimately, if the employee does not obtain settled or pre-settled status, and they do not have the right to work under another immigration route, the employer will need to take steps to end their employment.