"Brexit is currently creating a great many questions in the minds of EU nationals as well as the British themselves, and a new settlement scheme such as the EU27 may well be top of the list of queries. What is it? And what is it likely to entail?"
As Brexit negotiations move slowly along, if you are wondering what Brexit will mean for the millions of EU citizens who currently live in the UK and for Brits living in Europe, then you should start with reviewing the Settlement Scheme that was posted back on June 21, 2018, on the UK government website. Their policy paper on the "EU Settlement Scheme: statement of intent" describes the scheme as a simple and straightforward process allowing EU citizens and their families to secure their long-term status in the UK.
With around 3.6 million EU nationals living in the UK, many will want to seek and get approved for having a "settled" status. In the foreword of the document, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Home Secretary explains:
"This streamlined process will take applicants through three simple stages: proving their identity, checking they are not a serious criminal, and evidencing their residence in the UK...The agreement we reached with the EU also protects UK nationals living there. The Government continues to press for further details from our EU partners of the arrangements that will be in place for UK nationals."
Under the confirmed plans, any EU citizen living in the UK by 2021 can stay forever. Those given "settled status" will have "broadly the same rights" as British citizens.
A pilot scheme was launched in August and is under trial. The aim is to put it in place from the end of 2018, and have it fully developed for a phased roll-out by March 2019. However, the rights of EU nationals who are currently in the UK will not change until the end of the transition period – June 30th, 2021 – so there is no need to apply straightaway.
As it relates to the 4.5 million Brits residing within the EU, there have been promises of free healthcare and pensioners living in Europe will have their pension payments increased every year just as if they were still in the UK. Some may even be offered a vote in EU elections.
For more on who is impacted, how to apply, costs for application, and what recent responses to the trial have been, check out the article below.
How Do You Apply? If you’re eligible, you will need to pay £65 per adult, or £32.50 for children under the age of 16. You’ll need to supply a photo, proof of your identity, and details of any criminal convictions. Your address will be checked by the home office, who will look at employment and/or benefit records. Every application will also be run through the UK’s security databases. Initially, you’ll have to make an appointment in person with a home office representative, but the eventual goal is for people to be able to apply online. According to the statement of intent, the home office will: “work with longer-term residents without official documentation to establish their eligibility under the scheme from the material they have.”