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Today the third stage of the EU Settlement Scheme was opened to EU nationals with a valid passport. This will allow more EU citizens to apply for Settled Status in the UK. This how-to guide has been put together to demonstrate how the ‘EU Settled Status’ Mobile App can be used to register for pre-settled or settled status.
Step 1: Download the app
To do this, you must have an android phone. Currently, the app is not modeled for IPhone users. However, the Government has stated that it will be when it is officially rolled out on 30 March.
You can download the app on the Google Play app store, by searching for ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’. The official app is made by ‘UK Visas and Immigration’, so make sure you check this before downloading it.
Once you have found the app, press the ‘install’ button and wait for it to download.
Step 2: Scan your passport
Once you open the app, the first step is to scan your passport. To use the app, your passport must have a biometric chip. This is the same chip which allows you to use the E-gates at customs, so if your passport does not have one of these (or the chip is faulty) you will not be able to use the app for your UK Settled Status application. You can tell if your passport has a chip by looking for the gold camera-like image on your passport. Please see the FAQ ‘Is there a ‘Settled Status UK citizens’ application form?’ for more information on what to do if your passport does not have a biometric chip.
To scan your passport, make sure you are in a well-lit area and open up your passport to the page with your photograph. Take a photograph with the app, making sure the whole photograph page is in the frame.
Step 3: Scan your passport’s chip
Once you have taken a photograph, you will need to scan the passport so that the app recognises the biometric chip. To do this, you will need to hold your phone to the closed passport. The app will alert you when it has checked and logged your biometric information.
Step 4: Scan your face
Next, you will be asked to scan your face. This allows the app to ‘recognise’ you and verify that you are who you say you are. Hold the phone up to your face as though you are taking a ‘selfie’. When you are ready, look into the camera and press the ‘scan face’ button. The screen will flash intermittently while it scans your face and it will alert you when it has matched you.
Step 5: Take a picture of yourself
The last step in the registration process is to take a photograph of yourself. Make sure you are in a well-lit area for this and look straight into the camera. As with a passport/ID photograph, pull a neutral facial expression and make sure there is nothing covering your face (such as hair, clothing or excessive jewelry etc). Press the ‘take photo’ button when you are ready.
Once you have taken the photograph, you will be registered as an EU citizen with settled status in the UK. If you have any issues with using the app, or need to ask any questions, the specialists at the Immigration Advice Service can talk you through the process, or assist you with using it. Click the ‘make an enquiry’ button to your left to arrange a free callback from a member of our team.
The application process for Settled Status is straightforward. The main way in which you can apply is through the smartphone app, which is currently being trialed. This app will be rolled out for applications by 30 March 2019. Applicants will also be able to apply online through the Gov site if they do not have an android.
In certain circumstances, the UK government will allow paper application forms but the fine details of this have not yet been finalised.
You will need to provide proof of your identity, nationality, and residency. You will need to provide this with a physical document as well as an uploaded facial image of yourself. Please see the above guide for more information.
To prove your identity and nationality, you must upload a passport or valid national identity card through the app. To be able to do this, your passport or card must have a biometric chip installed, which is usually indicated by a gold camera-like image.
If you don’t have a biometric document to send online, you can send your passport or identity card yourself via post to the Home Office.
You will also need to enroll your fingerprints and have your photograph taken at an application centre. These should be readily available and accessible in your area. The UK government are yet to announce where they will operate.
To prove your continuous residency in the UK you will need to show that you have lived at least five years continuously in the UK. You will be able to upload documentary evidence digitally of your continuous residency, such as an annual bank statement with your address. However, don’t worry if you lack physical evidence. The UK government will be able to check your continuous residency by scanning through Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) databases.
If you have a permanent residence document, this will no longer be valid after 31 December 2020 meaning you must apply for Settled Status before your card expires. With a permanent residence card, you do not have to pay the fee or prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence. You will be able to exchange this card for Settled Status, facing only criminality and security checks.
EU citizens must apply for settled status UK before 30 June 2021. The only way EU migrants can apply for the scheme post-Brexit is if they are joining a family member with Settled or Pre-Settled status in the UK.
You can apply online. If you need support to complete the application, the UK government will provide assistance either on the phone or in-person.
It is necessary for you to register as an EU citizen in the UK after Brexit so that you are legally recognised as a resident of the UK. Failing to apply jeopardises your immigration status and you could be found with no legal grounds or rights to live and work in the UK.
Once you have Settled Status (or Pre-Settled Status), you will have the same access to services as you do now. You will be able to:
If you get Settled Status, you can stay in the UK for as long as you wish and even apply for British Citizenship. Any children you have in the UK will automatically be British citizens if you have Settled Status.
If you achieve Pre-Settled Status, you can stay in the UK for 5 years. Once you have passed this threshold, you can then apply for Settled Status.
In the future (after 31 December 2020) it will not be so easy to apply for Settled Status UK for EU citizens. However, for close family members such as a spouse, civil partner, dependent child or grandchild and dependent parents or grandparent that live outside of the UK, they will still be able to join EU citizens as a Settled person. To be eligible for this, the Settled person must be able to prove that the relationship with the EU citizen existed on 31 December 2020 and will continue to exist when that person moves to the UK.
To be eligible for Settled Status, EU citizens and their family members must have been a continuous resident in the UK for five years by 31 December 2020.
For EU nationals who fall short of the five-year requirement, they and their family members who arrive by 31 December 2020 will be eligible for Pre-Settled Status. Once you have accumulated five-years continuous residency in the UK, you can then switch to Settled Status.
To apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, you will have to pay £65 if you are 16 or over. If you’re under 16, this fee is reduced to £32.50.
Only in certain circumstances will applications to the scheme be free of charge, such as if you’re a child in local care or you already have a valid immigration status (such as Permanent Residence).
If you are switching from Pre-Settled Status to Settled Status, applying will also be free of charge.
UPDATE: all fees were scrapped on 21 January 19, meaning that anyone who applies for EU settlement will be able to do so without paying a fee.
The roll out pilot scheme has already begun for testing. Applications will be rolled out to the rest of the public by 30 March 2019.
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