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, can apply for settled status, which will give them 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 is 30 June 2021.
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 is not 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 can apply again at any time up to 30 June 2021, submitting new information or evidence. In some circumstances, the applicant can apply for an administrative review of the decision. An employer could consider providing an employee with access to legal assistance for a further application or an administrative review. Ultimately, if the employee does not obtain settled or pre-settled status, they will not have the right to work in the UK and will need to apply for immigration permission under an alternative route.