Here For Good challenges the Home Office on implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement 

Written by: Anna Hawkes


Strategic legal charity, Here for Good, is challenging the Home Office in regard to the running of the EU Settlement Scheme. In a judicial review, issued on 12 February 2024, Here for Good argues that applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme should have a right of appeal against any rejections of late applications as invalid. Permission was granted by Mr Justice Swift on 22 March 2024 and the full hearing is listed to take place on 18 June 2024 at the Royal Court of Justice. 

The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme was 30 June 2021. For those submitting applications after this date, reasonable grounds for submitting a late application would need to be shown. The reasonable grounds consideration was then part of the eligibility requirements but on 9 August 2023, the Home Office changed this approach by amending the immigration rules. From this date, showing reasonable ground instead became a validity requirement, depriving the applicants of a right of appeal against a rejection on this basis. Here for Good’s experience mirror our caseworkers here at Seraphus – a lot of people have been caught out by the new provisions. It means that those who are rejected, despite being eligible for status under the EU Settlement Scheme, can only challenge the rejection by judicial review – a costly and complex procedure. 

Here for Good’s challenge is brought on the basis that the Home Office has failed to give applicants a right of appeal against the decision not to consider their application. This is considered a breach of Article 18(1)(r) and Article 21 of the Withdrawal Agreement, and Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. If the challenge is successful, then a rule change could assist a wider group of late applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme who would then be able to challenge the rejection of their case at the immigration Tribunal.

As a small charity, Here for Good could incur fees of £10,000. This money is sorely needed to support vulnerable applicants through the EU Settlement Scheme process, but the issue is too important to leave unchallenged.

Here for Good has started a Crowd Justice campaign, where you can contribute towards their crowd-funder to ensure they can take this challenge forward.

The challenge is brought by the SAFE project, Here for Good in partnership with Seraphus and Wilsons Solicitors. 

Read more about the SAFE project and Seraphus’ involvement in this article