EU Settlement Scheme test phase proves a success

The UK Home Office has published its report into the public beta test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme.

The public beta test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme was launched on 21st January and closed on 29th March. It was limited to applications using either an EU passport or a biometric residence card (containing a biometric chip) as proof of identity and nationality.

Over 200,000 applications were received during the public beta test phase, including 8,152 on the first day. By 16th April, 187,959 of these applications had been decided. 69 per cent of the concluded applications were granted settled status, 31 per cent were granted pre-settled status and none were refused. Many of the applicants received their decision within 4 days.

During the public beta test phase:

– 95 per cent of applicants successfully used the app to prove their identity remotely;

– 987 devices from 92 manufacturers successfully used the app;

– 75 per cent of applicants were able to use the app to prove their identity remotely in under 10 minutes;

– 88 per cent of applicants were able to have their UK residence automatically checked by providing their National Insurance Number; and

– 73 per cent of decided adult cases did not need to provide any further evidence of UK residence following the automated checks or because they held a valid permanent residence document or existing indefinite leave to remain.

“EU citizens are our friends, family and neighbours and we want them to stay,” said Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes. “The testing phase provided us with valuable insight to ensure that it as easy as possible for EU citizens to get the status they need through the EU Settlement Scheme.

“It is performing well and I am pleased that more than 600,000 people have already applied,” she added.

The public beta test phase followed two successful private beta test phases which included employees in the higher education, health and social care sectors. The scheme was fully launched on 30th March and so far more than 600,000 people have applied, including 50,000 on the opening weekend.

The EU Settlement Scheme is designed to make it straightforward for EU citizens and their family members to stay after the UK leaves the EU.

They only need to complete 3 key steps – prove their identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions. Deal or no deal, EU citizens will have until at least 31st December 2020 to apply.

Article published 3rd May 2019