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Legal Updates

Increase in processing times for EU Settlement Scheme applications

20 September 2019 #Immigration #Setting up in the UK

The Government has updated its most recent estimated times to process an EU Settlement Scheme application. The update times have increased and provide for an extended period of waiting if the application falls within certain exceptions.

The likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has in some ways determined the number of EU Settlement Scheme applications being made. The previous month saw a surge in applications following the Home Secretary’s announcement to end free movement on 31 October 2019, and this seems to have increased the time the Home Office are taking in determining the applications.

Previously, the processing times were between 1 to 4 calendar days, from the date the application was made. The updated processing times now state that the application usually takes around 5 working days, but it can take longer.

The new guidance also states that the application is likely to take longer to process if:

  • The Home Office need to request more information from the applicant
  • The applicant is applying as a minor and your application is not linked to an adult
  • The applicant submits a paper application
  • The applicant has a relevant criminal record
  • The applicant is a non-EEA or non-Swiss citizen and is applying based on a relationship that they have not relied on in a previous application to the Home Office

The processing time for the EU Settlement Scheme applications start from the point the application is complete:

  • For online applications, this is when the application is submitted
  • If the identity document is sent by post, this is after the identity is verified
    • If you post your identity document, the Home Office state that they will take 3 days to return them to you after they are received. This means that it can take 10 days from the period the documents are sent, if you include the postage times.
  • If the applicant needs to provide fingerprints, this is from the point the fingerprints are scanned


Clarkslegal, specialist Immigration lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Immigration matter please contact Clarkslegal's immigration team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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Hamza Malik

Hamza Malik

T: 0207 539 8020
M: 07990 595 483


Immigration team
+44 (0)20 7539 8000