EU workers can now apply for UK Settled Status (but not iPhone users)

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From today, EU workers in the UK can apply for Settled Status if they have been in the UK for five years or longer. EU citizens who have been in the UK for less than five years can apply for pre-settled status with a view to converting this to settled status once they reach five years in the UK.

21/1/19 19:00hrs Updated to add

Today in Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that fees for Settlement Status would be scrapped and anyone who has already paid will be refunded. Therefore the £65 and £32.50 fees referred to in this article will be waived from the 30th of March.

“I can confirm today that when we roll out the scheme in full on 30 March, the government will waive the application fee so that there is no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay. Anyone who has applied during the pilot phase will have their fee reimbursed.”
– Theresa May, Prime Minister, United Kingdom

For those online businesses who reply on EU workers, you may wish to consider assisting your employees with their settled status application. You can do this by assisting them with IT access to complete their application or possibly even paying the £65 application fee for them.

The EU Settlement Scheme is now in test phase and will be will open fully by the 30 of March 2019. The deadline for applying for Settled Status will be the 30th of June 2021, or the 31st December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

When the scheme fully opens there will be mobile apps to assist in settlement applications. However there’s bad news for iPhone users – you’ll have to use an an Android phone if you want to scan your identity document. In terms of applying for Settled Status, iPhone users are 2nd class and you’ll be forced to send your documents by post.

The EU Settlement Scheme is a necessary step to enshrine the rights of those who have made their home in the UK a permanent right. It’s reasonable that there’s paper trail and the government knows how many people live in the UK for planning for everything from the NHS to homes, schools and pensions. For EU Citizens who have enjoyed freedom of movement it’s a worrying time – especially for those who are less technologically savvy and are now faced with online applications. The elderly and those who haven’t learnt English will be most disadvantaged, plus for those on low incomes £65 may represent quite a lot of money… it’s a per person charge plus £32.50 for each child under the age of 16 that you’re applying for.

There’s no real requirement to rush out and apply for Settled Status today – we don’t even know what the shape of Brexit will be and if there will or won’t be a deal. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the UK won’t actually leave the EU so you may decide to save your money and delay applying. From today though, if you wish to guarantee their right to live and work in the UK indefinitely, EU Citizens can get their Settled Status application started.

2 Responses

  1. So wave goodbye to £150million, that would be very handy in the aftermath of this chaos.

    We constantly here what we will be doing for EU citizens living in the UK, but what is going to happen to UK citizens living in Europe?

    Much like the problem with the Dover – Calais route, surely they will be having the same problems as we will.


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