A new statement of changes to the Immigration Rules was laid on 1 April 2019. It is short and technical, making a few tweaks to the rules for EU settled status.
The main thing it addresses is the cut-off date by which EU citizens must be living in the UK in order to apply for settled status. The Appendix EU rules currently say that settled status is only open to EU citizens who began living in the UK before a “specified date”. The specified date is defined as 31 December 2020 if the withdrawal agreement passes or 29 March 2019 if there is no deal on that date.
As we identified in our unBrexit Day post last week, this definition is a problem, because it is now possible that there will be no deal on a different date than 29 March just gone. That would mean that there is no cut-off date. This technical flaw has now been corrected:
EU1. In Annex 1, in sub-paragraph (b) of the entry for ‘specified date’ in the table, for “on 29 March 2019 without a Withdrawal Agreement”, substitute “without a Withdrawal Agreement”.
EU2. In Annex 1, in sub-paragraph (b)(i) of the entry for ‘specified date’ in the table, for “2300 GMT on 29 March 2019”, substitute “the date and time of withdrawal”.
In addition, the changes push back the date when the stricter UK law on criminal convictions will apply to applicants, instead of the more liberal EU law. The explanatory note says:
The changes will also ensure that, in a ‘no deal’ scenario, the grounds for the refusal of leave to enter or remain under Appendix EU or for the cancellation or curtailment of such leave, and for the refusal of entry clearance under Appendix EU (Family Permit) or for its revocation or for the cancellation of leave to enter held by virtue of a person having arrived in the UK with such an entry clearance, are consistent with the EU law public policy tests for conduct committed before the date of withdrawal, and with UK suitability provisions for conduct thereafter.
All this comes into effect straight away, on 2 April 2019.
The statement of changes also allows EU citizens to apply for an administrative review of settled status being refused if they applied from outside the UK. (You have to be legally resident in the UK to apply, but do not have to be physically present in the country.) This kicks in from 22 April.