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information on the EU Settlement Scheme

22 August 2018

We now have some further clarity from the Government, on the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme that they propose will be in place for employees who are EU citizens and currently living in the UK (and their families), when we leave the EU next March.

The Government has issued an employer toolkit and other documents aimed at awareness raising. You may wish to share this with any EU citizen employees, line managers and leaders in the organisation, so it is clear what is being proposed and what the next steps are. Posters and leaflets are included in the toolkit for these purposes.

In addition, whilst there is no requirement for employers to support the cost of EU citizen employees (or their families) making an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, the Government are encouraging employers to consider this (see below for details of costs).

Here is the link to the toolkit.

In summary:

  • if EU citizens want to stay in the UK beyond 31 December 2020 they, and their close family, will need to apply to the EU settlement scheme
  • the scheme will allow EU citizens (and their families) to continue to live and work in the UK, and give access to public services, public funds and pension and be able to apply for British citizenship when they are eligible
  • EU citizens who have been a resident in the UK for more than five years by 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply for 'settled status'
  • those with less than five years UK residency will be eligible for 'pre-settled status' until such time as they are eligible for settled status
  • those who have permanent residency before the leave date will be required to swap to settled status (at no cost)
  • those who already have British citizenship will not need to do anything
  • Irish citizens will not need to do anything, but their family members from outside the UK and Ireland will need to apply for settled status if they wish to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020
  • the scheme is being phased in with trials taking place, including in the NHS. It will be fully open by the end of March 2019 but there is a grace period for those who are residing here as at 31 December 2020; so that they will have until 30 June 2021 to make the relevant application
  • there is no maximum quota for applications
  • the application is described as a three step process and will be online (including application by smartphone which allows easier uploading of a photograph)
  • the three steps are: (i) verification of proof of identity and nationality, (ii) confirmation of proof of residence in the UK and (iii) a criminality check (confirming no serious convictions)
  • the cost of the application is £65 and £32.50 for children under 16. However, it will be free to apply for those who already have indefinite leave to remain or a valid permanent residence document. It will also be free to make an application to move from pre-settled status to settled status from April 2019
  • successful applicants will receive proof of their settled or pre-settled status through an online service, rather than a physical document.

As a note, these arrangements do not currently apply for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland as rights for citizens of these countries are still being negotiated.

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