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On 21 June 2018, the Home Office released a ‘Statement of Intent’, a document detailing the requirements for EU citizens to stay in the UK after it leaves the European Union. In it, they announced a settlement scheme that will be compulsory for all EU citizens intending to remain in the UK once the UK leaves the EU in 2019.

The scheme is expected to start by 30 March 2019, with EU citizens able to start the registration process in autumn next year. The scheme will run for two years post-Brexit and the deadline for applications to the scheme will be 30 June 2021, within which time all EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK must register and obtain an ID number (as opposed to a physical residency card), which will be required in order to receive any public service in the UK, such as the NHS.

The scheme aims to make the application process as easy and as efficient as possible. Application costs will be £65 for adults and £32.50 for children, with the decision process taking no longer than two weeks, or less if done online (or via a smart-phone application). The Home Office expects there to be between 3.2 million to 3.8 million EU citizens eligible for the scheme.

EU citizens will be required to provide a range of information and documentation in support of their applications, including details on their biographical information, proof of identity, and a declaration on any convictions. Similarly to the current EEA registration scheme, EU citizens will also be required to provide proof of continuous residence in the UK for a period of 5 years. The documents to satisfy the residence requirement are not dissimilar to the ones that are required for EEA Permanent Residence applications.

We highlight that the settlement scheme is not due to take place until 30 March 2019 and recommend that EU Nationals and their family members do not wait until then to begin the process for confirming their status in the UK. The Home Office has stated that the application process will be particularly straightforward for those EU citizens and their family members who have already been issued permanent residence documents. We have already helped a large number of EU Nationals and their families (EU and Non EU) to successfully apply for permanent residence documents, of which many have gone on to acquire British Citizenship.

If you are effected by the recent government policy announcement on EU citizens’ rights post-Brexit and have any questions or concerns on how the policy announcement could affect you, or you require further information on acquiring confirmation of your right to reside in the UK or a permanent residence document, please contact Dhruti Thakrar – Head of Immigration, George Curie – Paralegal or any member of the Edwin Coe Immigration team.

Edwin Coe LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England & Wales (No.OC326366). The Firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. A list of members of the LLP is available for inspection at our registered office address: 2 Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn, London, WC2A 3TH. “Partner” denotes a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with the equivalent standing.

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