UKCEN attended the Home Office Users representative Group on 23rd May 2018. Home Office officials provided updates on the progress of the development of the new settled status application system. The following subjects were discussed.
There was confirmation that, whilst it is understandable that after Windrush, everyone is concerned that this may happen to EU nationals, it can’t. Different mechanisms are in place, there is an assumption of approval, and Ministers have made it clear that there must be a ‘human face’ to the process.
2) Families and Dependents
a) Reiteration of the Withdrawal Agreement definitions
Dependents can be granted status if they are family members of an EU national in the UK and are in the UK on 31st December 2020. Family members are:
- Children of the EU national or their spouse
- Dependent parent(s) of the EU national or their spouse
- Durable partner, who has been recognised as such by being issued with a residence document
- Dependent relative, who has been recognised as such by being issued with a residence document.
If someone is joining after 31st December 2020, they must prove that the relationship existed before this date. The exception to this are children, who can get settled status even if born after this date. The dependence is based on the principles established in Reyes and the current regulations.
b) Family applications
Applications will be linked, but there will not be ‘family’ applications as such. This allows for flexibility and security of information. Everyone will have an individual status and unique user ID number. However, in most cases, only one set of documents per family will be required, and prompts will be in place to apply for children.
3) Wider Support Model
A free service referred to as ‘Assisted Digital’ has been launched, in conjunction with libraries, Migrant Help UK, We Are Digital. The following kinds of support will be on offer:
- Face to face at libraries
- Face to face at home
4) The product
The outcome will be a digital status. The subject of whether there will also be a physical card is still under discussion, a decision hasn’t been made yet and we will be discussing this on the group. The digital profiles will have the following characteristics:
- Users have full access to to their profiles
- They will be an option to securely share key elements with people of their choice (such as employers, landlords, etc.)
- The system will be based around the model of the DVLA data sharing scheme for car hire
- They have said there would be no need for ID cards, this is still under discussion.