Results from the Civil Society EUSS Alliance survey – July 2023

Is your organisation:
  • Currently a Government Funded Organisation 14.3% 14.3%
  • Previously a Government Funded Organisation 35.7% 35.7%
  • Hoping to continue receiving government funding 7.1% 7.1%
  • Funded by legal aid 0% 0%
  • Funded by trusts and foundations 57.1% 57.1%
  • Funded by a local authority 21.4% 21.4%
  • NGO conducting legal aid and pro bono legal work 7.1% 7.1%
  • One of the SMPs 7.1% 7.1%
  • Not OISC accredited 21.4% 21.4%
  • OISC 1 7.1% 7.1%
  • OISC 1 limited to EUSS 7.1% 7.1%
  • OISC 2+ 42.9% 42.9%
  • An accredited solicitor 14.3% 14.3%
  • A charity working in partnership 7.1% 7.1%
  • A member of the law society 0% 0%
Where does your organisation work?
  • UK wide 28.6% 28.6%
  • England 7.1% 7.1%
  • Regionally 21.4% 21.4%
  • Specific city 7.1% 7.1%
  • England and Wales 7.1% 7.1%
  • Pan London 21.4% 21.4%
  • North and West Kent 7.1% 7.1%
  • Greater London 7.1% 7.1%
Who are your clients?

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Homeless/rough sleepers.

People with disabilities and/or serious health conditions (e.g. physical or mental impairments).

Victims of modern slavery and/or trafficking.

 Victims of domestic abuse.

Romanian and Eastern European communities.

Vulnerable children.

Deportation orders.

Latin Americans and speakers of Spanish and Portuguese.

All migrants.

CEE predominantly, we have a key focus on the Roma community.


Young adults who have left care.

Other vulnerabilities: linguistic barriers, IT illiteracy, IT poverty, impoverishment.

Our EUSS advice is means-tested so low income.

TCN family members.

No/low level English.

Local Authority care.

Eastern Europeans: most clients are Polish or Romanian.


Digitally excluded, Roma, BAME, DA victims, third country nationals, the elderly, children, etc.

Does your organisation have dedicated EUSS support/ advice provision and staff?
  • Yes 57.1% 57.1%
  • No 35.7% 35.7%
  • Within existing (limited) immigration team 7.1% 7.1%
If you do not provide direct support/ advice how do you support EU citizens?
Policy and advocacy.

Advice and referrals to partners.

Strategic work.

If you work on cases, compared to the previous month, last month did you receive:
  • The same number 75% 75%
  • A decrease in new EUSS enquiries/ cases 8.3% 8.3%
  • An increase in new EUSS enquiries/ cases 8.3% 8.3%
What new cases are you dealing with?
Pre-settled to Settled Status.

Repeat applications.

Childrens status.

Managing a status.

Joining Family Members.

Retained rights.

Late applications.

Issues at the border.

Durable partners.

What challenges/ roadblocks have you experienced in your case work this month?
  • Lack of staff/ capacity 53.8% 53.8%
  • Lack of inhouse knowledge, skills 7.7% 7.7%
  • Third party advice/support at capacity 30.8% 30.8%
  • Unable to resolve with the Home Office 38.5% 38.5%
  • Waiting for Home Office decision 76.9% 76.9%
  • Inadequate advice/response from Home Office 23.1% 23.1%
  • Client limited language or capacity 53.8% 53.8%
  • Client limited digital access or skills 53.8% 53.8%
  • Client vulnerability 76.9% 76.9%
  • Client not having sufficient residence evidence 7.7% 7.7%
  • IT issues – we are working on private devices 7.7% 7.7%
  • Long waiting time for decisions on Administrative Review applications 7.7% 7.7%
This month, which of these issues are you dealing with in your cases? (discussed at Alliance and other meetings)
  • Technical issues with online status 23.1% 23.1%
  • Status not reflecting legal status (should show AR, pending recision, refused etc) 46.2% 46.2%
  • Technical issues (eg error readings when submitting evidence) 15.4% 15.4%
  • Client lacks evidence 46.2% 46.2%
  • Evidence supplied rejected by Home Office (content, format) 53.8% 53.8%
  • Delays in decision from Home Office 76.9% 76.9%
  • Lack of awareness of the benefits of applying for SS (if PSS) 46.2% 46.2%
  • Absences 38.5% 38.5%
  • COAs: delays in issuing 7.7% 7.7%
  • COAs: issues in accessing rights 30.8% 30.8%
  • Lack of clarity in Home Office decision making 46.2% 46.2%
  • “Entangled” status (eg someone else’s info displayed on your client’s status) 7.7% 7.7%
  • Travel (ID cards, proving status, refused boarding) 38.5% 38.5%
  • Lack of biometric residence cards 23.1% 23.1%
  • Benefits over/mis payments 23.1% 23.1%
  • 28 day notices for rough sleepers 7.7% 7.7%
  • NHS mis charging/treatment 15.4% 15.4%
  • Discrimination: housing/work 23.1% 23.1%
  • Imprisonment affecting continuous residency 15.4% 15.4%
  • New born and child applications 53.8% 53.8%
  • Status not updated 7.7% 7.7%
  • Lack of evidence 7.7% 7.7%
  • Increase of cases under Article 9 of Withdrawal Agreement 7.7% 7.7%
What are you seeing on the ground?
No evidence of residence for vulnerable individuals.

Care needs for family members in the UK and in home country.

Gathering evidence from EU countries and in the UK for applications.

Increasing demands of evidence accepted by the Home Office for applications.

Gathering evidence on criminal convictions via UK agencies.

Admin reviews delays and evidence gathering.

Evidence gathering for retained rights, durable partnerships and joining family members.

Mental health needs of clients.

Ineligible applications.

Disparaity in treatment of Roma citizens and finding enough evidence for AR’s.

Clients who are particularly vulnerable and digitally excluded.

Children’s applications not made.

How will the new round of Home Office funding to organisations directly affect your organisation? eg you are applying, you work closely with a GFO, not sure where you will refer cases in the future?
We are overwhelmed with referrals from other organizations.

We will focus on complex OISC 2+ cases and deal with L1 applications where they are internal referrals from users with multiple vulnerabilities and in urgent need. We will reduce PAS work.

Will have to review signposting pathways.

It will not affect our work as we are not funded by the HO.

Not sure where we will refer cases in the future.

We are receiving more requests for referrals as other complex case advice orgs have fallen away. We lost a sixth of our HO funding this round so our capacity is seriously impacted. Unclear what we do with cases that come in that could technically be resolved at OISC level 1 (but may be linked to a family member who’s case needs resolving at level 2).

Are there any trends or complex issues you are seeing that you want to highlight?

Durable relationships: need to prove 4+ years, lack of evidence means refusal.

Admin refusals.

Unfair treatment of Roma women – not having access to evidence.

Increase in applications from long residents with historic Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) cases where the Home Office can’t find records of the ILR in their systems and ask for alternative evidence of residence for 5 continuous years.

Applications from young mothers with children when Social Services are involved in care proceedings due to lack of status and extreme impoverishment.

Digital status access issues.

Home Office enhanced scrutiny, eg in requiring past passports and more evidence of residence, and requiring photos of each document – last one took 5 hrs to photo and upload to Home Office copious evidence of residence (additional to time spent on the original late application for a non-literate Roma living and working in UK some 20 years, but with limited NINO recorded evidence) – all non-funded. In non-criminal cases, with no basis for suspicion, and reasonable prima facie evidence of qualifying residence, this blinkered enhanced scrutiny and consequential effort is disproportionate.

Long gaps breaking continuity of residence resulting in evidential difficulties to obtain status.

Reverse dependency cases where an EEA Family Member wants to apply for EUSS to care for a dependent EEA relative with a status.

The main issue is the ever increasing problems we are facing with rejection of evidence by the Home Office on frivolous grounds (or, more precisely, no grounds at all). Applicants for Settled Status who do not have five years’ continuous employment are finding it increasingly difficult to prove their residence. We have seen a trend of rejections of evidence (such as tenancy agreements and bank statements issued by online banks) which were routinely accepted a year ago. This has echoes of Windrush and amounts to direct discrimination against applicants who arrived in the UK relatively recently and have yet to apply for settled status. Our service users rarely have utilities bills or Council Tax bills in their names.

In non-criminal cases, with no basis for suspicion, and reasonable prima facie evidence of qualifying residence, this blinkered enhanced scrutiny and consequential effort is disproportionate.

EUSS Family Permit refusals because of evidence submitted.

If you are not involved in case work what issues are you focused on this month?
Mapping support organisations and engagement.

On top of case work we are trying to bring fraudulent EUSS services to the OISC enforcement attention.

Resolve outstanding cases.

Deportations and extraditions are complex areas of work.

Reporting on unhelpful and opaque decision-making by the Home Office.

Involvement in strategic litigation.

Lobbying for changes to the Home Office grant scheme.

Lobbying funders about the need for additional EUSS funding to not lose a specialised sub-sector of the immigration sector.