Family members of EU citizens who do not hold a biometric residence card are now unable to make an online application for a settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
The same go for EU nationals who do not hold a biometric passport or a national ID card with a chip.
The Home Office suspended the application line without a warning and stated in an email to Kadmos Consultants that the process will resume once the postal application line reopens. Suspension of the application process is put down to Coronavirus. There is no indication of the likely timing for re-introduction of the postal application service.
The EU Settlement scheme will remain in place until 30 June 2021 for EU citizens and their family members as long as they are resident in the UK before 31 December 2020.
The suspension of the EU Settlement Scheme mainly affects family members of EU nationals who entered the UK on a Family Permit but have not had a chance to change this document to a biometric residence card. Although they are not required to leave the UK, the delay may cause a significant inconvenience if the family member wants to take up employment and needs proof of the right to work in the UK. Many employers will not accept a family permit as proof of the right to take up employment since it is not a one of the documents which provides statutory defence against charges of employing migrants illegally.