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Home Office in the media

This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

EU Settlement Scheme – Public test phase

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Home Office in the media

EU citizens living in the UK who have a valid passport are currently able to take part in a public test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme.

The public testing phase of the EU Settlement Scheme started on 21 January and is entirely voluntary. The full scheme will be rolled out by 30 March 2019.

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme will enable EU citizens resident in the UK and their family members to obtain the UK immigration status they will require in order to live and work in the UK after the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020.

For further information, click here.

Who can apply during public testing?

EU citizens with a valid EU passport, as well as their non-EU citizen family members who hold a valid biometric residence card, are able to apply in this public test.

The Scheme will be fully rolled out by 30 March 2019.

For more information on the EU Settlement Scheme, including on how to apply, click here.

Can you only apply with an android device?

No - applicants are able to apply using any laptop or mobile device to make an application.

The new, wider test phase requires applicants to prove their identity by using the EU Exit: Identity Document Check app which is currently only available on android devices. This is helping us to test the integrated online application process.

Once the system is fully open, there will be further routes available to have identity documents checked, including a postal route for submitting ID evidence and over 50 locations where applicants can have their chip checked.

We also continue to engage constructively with Apple regarding the app functionality on iOS devices.

What about those who do not have access to technology?

This current phase which is entirely voluntary is testing the EU Exit: Identity Document Check app.

Once the scheme is fully open by 30 March, alternatives to the ID Document Check app will include the applicant posting their identity document to the Home Office to be checked and returned to them quickly, or visiting a local ‘chip check’ service run by a Local Authority or other provider.

We are also working in partnership with vulnerable group representatives, local authorities and other experts to make sure we reach everyone.

We are providing grant funding of up to £9 million for voluntary and community organisations across the UK to support EU citizens who might need additional help when applying for Settled Status under the scheme.

Where can people go for help?

Customers who are part of the test should ring the helpline number provided if they have queries or are experiencing any technical issues and our staff will be happy to help resolve them and pass on any feedback.

Inside the UK: 0300 123 7379; Outside the UK: 0203 080 0010.

As part of the voluntary phase of testing we opened 13 locations across the country to support applicants using the ‘EU Exit: Identity Document Check’ app. This will be expanded to over 50 once the scheme is fully rolled out.

How much will it cost?

The Prime Minister has announced that EU citizens applying for the EU Settlement Scheme will not have to pay a fee when the Scheme is fully rolled out by 30 March.

Anyone who has or will apply during the pilot phases will have their fee reimbursed.

How many people applied during the second test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme?

The second test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme has been successful, with 29,987 applications submitted from 1 November to 21 December 2018, enabling us to prove the functionality of the end-to-end online application process.

27,211 decisions had been made and sent out to applicants by 14 January 2019 and 69% of decided cases were processed in three working days, with 81% processed within a week.

For a report which sets out the key findings of the second test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme, click here.

During the first week of public testing, tens of thousands of applications were processed successfully.

When will people have to apply for status through the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme will be fully open by 30 March 2019. Under the draft Withdrawal Agreement, the deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021.

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