The Week EU Settlement Scheme Opens, the Home Office Releases Pilot Phase Report

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The Home Office released a report earlier this week on its EU Settlement Scheme pilot phase, carried out late last year between the 1st of November and the 21st of December. The scheme, under which almost all EU citizens living in the UK must apply to remain after Brexit, opened for most applicants on the 21st of January 2019. 

This comes at the same time that Theresa May backtracked on the £65 fee for EU migrants looking to remain in the UK after pressure from hospitality leaders.

The pilot scheme was open to EU citizens employed in higher education, healthcare, and social care sectors. 

The Home Office cites that it made over 27,000 decisions on settled status applications submitted during this test phase. All were accepted with 70% being granted settled status while the remaining 30% received pre-settled status (EU nationals that have been in the UK for less than 5 years).

At first glance, the report suggests that all applications were accepted, however, there were around 2,800 applications still pending because they were “incomplete or awaiting further evidence”. Almost 1,000 of these applicants still need to send in their physical passport, as they had trouble scanning their passport on the specially designed app. 

The remaining number of pending applications seemed to have incorrectly thought that they had a permanent residence document, which can be exchanged for settled status free of charge. In fact, they had a different type of EU residence document, such as a registration certificate or residence card, which look very similar.

80% of the applications received were granted status within a week. 77% stated that the process was ‘very or fairly easy’ to complete. 

Although this is appears to be a positive figure it does suggest that 23% didn’t find it easy, this would equate to around 800,000 people that may have experienced problems with the system.

All EU citizens with a passport can apply for settled status from the 21st of January, as can non-EU family members with a biometric residence card. With this in mind, there is no time to waste, contact Astons today where one of our highly experienced advisers are on hand to assist you with your settlement queries.

Although events like Brexit can cause possible complications and hurdles to settlement, ASTONS is ALWAYS on the pulse, always showing adaptability to navigate the tricky terrain of the visa and citizenship world to deliver stand-out service to all of our clients.

Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Moscow, Dubai, Cyprus and China and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions in the UK, EU & the Caribbean. Astons is a committed and regulated member of the Investment Migration Council (IMC), for EU & Caribbean investment immigration.

For further information on UK citizenship programmes, or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at info@astons.com or call +44 207 292 2977.