The Settled Status application process and criteria: updates
Over the last month, we have seen progress being made in preparation for the new application process. The following has been agreed:
- A transition period to extend until the end of 2020, giving EU nationals arriving in the UK up until the end of that year, the same opportunity as those already here to apply for pre-settled status and build up their five years to apply for settled status. A new registration system will be in place for EU nationals arriving after March 29 2019. EU nationals will be required to register within three months.
- The voluntary application system will start at the earliest in the autumn 2018 (UK statement), and at the latest in March 2019 (according to the latest draft of the WA). We will update these pages as and when we have more details.
- A deadline to apply for the new documents, either settled status or pre-settled status, by June 2021.
A simple process
The application will be implemented through an app. Upon launch, the app will ask three basic questions:
- Are you an EU national?
- Do you live in the UK?
- Have you got a criminal record?
The app will then verify nationality using databases and entry records and presence by checking HMRC and DWP records. This system is designed to grant settled status to any EU national who has lived in the UK for five years. It is anticipated that the five year period can start at any point up to December 31st 2020. Anyone who has been here less than 5 years will be given a temporary status to hold until they have been here five years and can get settled status.
Some people’s details will not be on the HMRC and DWP databases, such as those who have been students or homemakers, or the data may not extend to the full five years. In this case, people will be able to submit evidence of their presence which will probably include household bills, mobile contracts, bank statements, library cards, college enrollment certificates or registration with a GP.
For those with criminal records, the criteria will be defined by the threshold for deportation, which is defined by whether they pose a risk to the public. It is anticipated that only those who have committed serious offences will be rejected.
Actual residence is enough
We have the following statement from Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes:
Settled status: actual residence is enough
UK says no need to show lawful residence – actual residence is enough
“We intend to make sure that the settled status scheme is as straightforward and easy as possible. Anybody who can demonstrate residency for five years will certainly find it an easy process to get through. We are not going to apply any tests about whether they have been working and exercising their treaty rights; it literally is just if they can demonstrate residency.
For those who have not been working, they will not have to demonstrate any record from HMRC, but they may well have a driving licence, for example, or may well have utility bills showing their address. For them, we are confident that we would be able to demonstrate the five years’ residency and that they will be able to go through the process smoothly.”