In news which will be of interest to any organisation employing EU nationals, the Government has released details of its proposed settlement scheme for EU citizens and their families wishing to continue to live in the UK after Brexit.
Under the proposals, “settled” status may be applied for by those who have lived in the UK for 5 years. Applicants will have to satisfy three tests; they will have to prove their identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare any serious past criminal convictions. The Home Office has indicated that it will check employment and benefit records held by the state to simplify the process of demonstrating residence in the UK. Applicants will need to pay a fee of £65 for adults and £32.50 for under 16s.
Those who already have permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain will be able to apply for “settled” status under the scheme at no cost. Those who have not lived in the UK for 5 years will be eligible to apply for “pre-settled” status, with the ability to convert to “settled” status once the 5 year mark has been reached. This second application will not attract a fee after April 2019.
It is anticipated that the scheme will have a phased introduction later this year, coming into force fully by 30th March 2019. The deadline for applications will be 30th June 2021.