UK details post-Brexit settlement scheme for EU citizens
The UK Home Office has published much-awaited details of the settlement scheme for EU citizens after Britain exits the EU in March 2019.
Photo credit: Press Association
Under the deal, outlined on Thursday, EU citizens living in the UK and their family members will need to apply to obtain a new UK immigration status.
UK immigration minister Caroline Nokes confirmed that those applying under the scheme will only need to complete three key steps. They will need to prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions, she said.
She also announced the planned fee for people applying under the scheme. It is proposed that an application will cost £65 and £32.50 for a child under 16. For those who already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, they will be able to exchange it for settled status for free.
The Home Office, in a statement, said it will check the employment and benefit records held by government which will mean that, for many, their proof of residence will be automatic.
Those who have not yet lived in the UK for five years will be granted pre-settled status and be able to apply for settled status once they reach the five-year point. From April 2019, this second application will be free of charge.
Nokes said the draft immigration rules “deliver on the citizens’ rights agreement with the EU reached in March this year, which also guarantees the rights of UK nationals living in the EU.”
Nokes said, “EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and to our society. They are our friends, family and colleagues and we want them to stay. This is an important step which will make it easy for EU citizens to get the status they need to continue working and living here. We are demonstrating real progress and I look forward to hearing more detail on how the EU will make reciprocal arrangements for UK nationals living in the EU.”
The new online application system, said the Home Office, will be accessible through phones, tablets, laptops and computers. The UK government will provide support for the vulnerable and those without access to a computer, and continues to work with EU citizens’ representatives and embassies to ensure the system works for everyone.
The settlement scheme will open in a phased way from later this year and will be fully open by 30 March 2019.The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.
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