IMA Citizens Rights News

04 Sep 2023

IMA launches new inquiry to investigate EU Settlement Scheme application delays

The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA) has launched an inquiry after receiving reports of citizens experiencing delays with their EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applications.  

The IMA has received information and complaints from people experiencing long wait times for a decision on their application. These include people waiting beyond estimated application processing times advised by the Home Office. 

As part of the inquiry, the IMA will investigate the impact these delays are having on citizens who have applied to the scheme. The IMA is calling on EU and EEA EFTA citizens and their family members who reside in the UK to share their experiences via an online survey to inform the inquiry.  

The IMA is keen to hear real life examples from citizens about their experiences in applying to the EUSS and information about delays they may have faced in receiving a decision on their application. 

Pam Everett, IMA Director of Operational Delivery said: 

“The EU Settlement Scheme has received and concluded more than 7 million applications since its creation. We recognise that many of these were processed without issues, but we are aware that other citizens have experienced delays in receiving a decision. 

“We aim to understand how these delays are having an impact on citizens’ lives. It is therefore really important that we hear from as many people as possible to fully understand any issues and consider what next steps to take.”

The IMA’s call for evidence will provide an understanding of the impact of delays, as well as generating narratives that will stem from citizens’ ‘lived experiences.’ Citizens can share their experiences via an online survey which will close on the 16 October 2023. 



Contact Information

Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens' Rights Agreements
07583 675169

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors:

  • The IMA has an open line of inquiry into EU Settlement Scheme delays and has also recently intervened in an Upper Tribunal case. This case concerns delays in applications to the EU Settlement Scheme as a result of pending prosecutions. It raises a number of important issues, including whether there is any obligation to decide applications under Article 18 of the Withdrawal Agreement and Article 17 of the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement within a reasonable time together with how an assessment as to what is reasonable is made. The case was heard on 18 May 2023 and the judgment is awaited. 
  • For details of how we use, manage and protect any information you provide, please see our Privacy Notice as published on our website. You can also view our principles for conducting consultations and calls for evidence as part of the notice.  
  • Citizens who believe their rights are not being upheld under the Withdrawal and Separation Agreements can submit a complaint to the IMA via its complaints portal. 

About us

  • The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens' Rights Agreements (IMA) protects the rights of EU and EEA EFTA citizens, and their family members, in the UK and Gibraltar.
  • We do this by monitoring UK public bodies to make sure they implement the rights of these citizens and by identifying any underlying issues. We are independent of government and are professional and impartial in our work.
  • Eligible EU and EEA EFTA citizens can report a breach of their citizens’ rights via the IMA's portal.
  • EU citizens’ rights are established in Part II of the UK EU Withdrawal Agreement.
  • EEA EFTA Citizens’ Rights are established in Part II of the EEA EFTA Separation Agreement.
  • Find out more about the IMA via the website.