The UK has published more details for European Union citizens staying on after Brexit next year, revealing three ‘easy’ steps for obtaining settled statues.
But British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has hit out at the EU for not doing the same from British expats living in Europe who still do not know what their status will be after Brexit at the end of March 2019.
EU citizens living in the UK and their family members will need to apply under the settlement scheme to obtain their new UK immigration status with Immigration Minister Caroline Noakes revealing the three key steps involved.
Applicants for settled status will need to prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions at a cost of £65 for an adult 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 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.
‘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,’ said Noakes.
‘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,’ she added.
The new online application system will be accessible through phones, tablets, laptops and computers. The 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 and the deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.
However, Javid hit out at the EU for failing to say how the status of British expats will be protected. He said there has been a glaring lack of information for UK citizens.
‘I am concerned that I have not seen any similar plans on how EU member states are going to support British nationals in their countries. ‘This is not good enough and I hope both the European Parliament and Commission will exert more pressure for them to do this as soon as possible,’ he added.