31 August 2018
The UK government’s EU Settlement Scheme, under which more than three million EU27 nationals living in Britain will be able to apply to remain in the country after Brexit, was launched in a pilot scheme on Tuesday.
Following the publication earlier in August of a UK government ‘toolkit’ for HR departments at companies with EU employees, the trial will enable 4,000 Europeans working or studying at 12 NHS trusts in NW England, plus EU students and staff at three Liverpool universities, to apply for post-Brexit ‘settled status’.
The government intends to roll out the scheme across the country from the end of the year. Tuesday’s trial was aimed at determining the likely demand and at ironing out any problems with the scheme.
Applicants will be required to attend an appointment with a Home Office representative who will help take them through the application process, although when the scheme is launched nationally, people will be able to make applications online.
The scheme is open to EU27 nationals who will have been in the UK for five years by the end of 2020. Those in the country who will not have five years’ residence by then, can seek to stay until they have, when they will be entitled to seek settled status.
Applications, which cost £65 for adults and £32.50 for children under the age of 16, involve people being required to prove their identity, declare any criminal convictions and upload a facial photograph.