3 simple questions will determine settled status for EU citizens

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, has revealed more detail about the scheme that will be put in place to allow EU citizens living in the UK to obtain settled status once the UK leaves the EU. Speaking to the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee on 21 June 2018, he explained that the default position of the government was to grant, not refuse settled status. 

EU citizens living in the UK will be asked 3 ‘simple questions’ 

- To prove their ID

- Whether they have any criminal convictions; and

- Whether they live in the UK

The answers will be cross-checked against information already held in government databases. Applicants who do not already have residency or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK will have to pay a fee - £65 for adults, £32.50 for children. The turnaround time of most applications for settled status by EU citizens is anticipated as being 2 weeks. 

Settled Status by app

It’s envisaged that many of the EU citizens affected in the UK will apply for settled status online, either through a smartphone app or computer. For those unable to access the application form online, libraries and special contact centres will be able to assist. There will be assistance with translation and for those who are unable to apply online for some other reason. It’s though that those with Android devices will be able to complete the entire application, including ID document upload, through the app, but Apple users will have to send in their passport for verification. Citizens of the Republic of Ireland will not have to apply for settled status.

A step in the right direction post-Brexit

Along with other top immigration solicitors in London, we see this as a positive step forward to bring clarity to the position. Many EU citizens living in the UK will welcome this news, clarifying the position that continues to be unclear as far as their rights once the UK leaves the EU. The scheme still suggests that applicants with a criminal record may not be accorded settled status, although the Home Office has said that they are looking at “…serious and persistent criminality and not parking fines…”.

Trials of the scheme are understood to start in a few weeks’ time, with a view to being open for registration in the Autumn, and will remain open for at least 2 years after ‘Brexit day’ – until June 2021.

At OTS Solicitors, we understand that this is a worrying and unsettling time for EU citizens living in the UK and we’re keen to be able to offer advice and reassurance where we can. We are experienced immigration lawyers and one of our team will be happy to help you address any concerns that you have as the UK heads towards Brexit. If you would like to talk to one of our top immigration solicitors in London, please call us on 0203 959 9123 to book an appointment.

 

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