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Launch of an EU Settlement Scheme Pilot

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EU citizens and non-EU family members of EU citizens working in the higher education sector can now register to take part in an EU Settlement Scheme pilot which launches on Thursday 15 November 2018.

By taking part, you will be able to make an early application for your new UK immigration status so you can continue to live and work in the UK after the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020.

There is an application of £65 for those aged 16 or over, but is free if you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain. The University Executive Board has agreed that the cost of the application fee, where applicable, can be re-claimed for employees as an expense in the normal way.

What you need to do:

If you would like to participate in the pilot you will need to send a blank email from your own email account to eusettlementpilot@homeoffice.gov.uk. The Home Office will be replying to emails on a phased basis and it might take two to three weeks for you to receive your reply. Please only send one email, and make sure you check your inbox and junk mail regularly.

When you do receive a reply, it will contain a link to the online application form, and you will need to complete your application before 22 December 2018.

You will only be able to take part in the pilot if you are working in the higher education sector in the UK, and you are:

  • an EU citizen and have a valid biometric passport (this is an e-passport which has a digital chip); or
  • a non-EU family member of an EU citizen and have a biometric residence card with ‘EU Right to Reside’ on the back, which you applied for on or after 6 April 2015

Application process during the pilot:

To apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme you will need to complete an online application:

  • Verify your identity - You will need to have a valid biometric passport or biometric residence card (issued by the Home Office) to apply in this pilot. All applicants must use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to verify their identity. This is currently only available to download on Android devices - an easy way to check if your device can use this app, is if your device has the technology to make contactless payments. Information on how to access the app will be included in the application process. If you cannot access this app during the pilot, there will be alternative ways for you to verify your identity once the scheme opens fully next year. After using the app to verify your identity, you can complete the rest of the application either on that device or on any smartphone, laptop or computer. 
  • Criminality check - You will need to complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application. This should not affect the vast majority of EU citizens and their family members.
  • Verify your residence in the UK - You will need to provide evidence of your residence in the UK. There are a number of ways you can do this. The easiest is to provide your National Insurance number. The Home Office will then check UK tax and certain benefits data and use those records to help work out how long you have been resident in the UK. You’ll get a result of this check straightaway. If you agree with the result, you can accept it and complete your application. If you disagree, this is not a problem, as you will be able to upload additional evidence of your residence. Information on the other types of evidence you can upload can be found on GOV.UK. Alternatively, if you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain, you will just need to provide proof of that status.
  • Pay any application fee – An application costs £65 for those aged 16 or over, but is free if you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain.

Your participation in this pilot allows you to apply early to the EU Settlement Scheme and gives the Home Office an opportunity to test the application process. Successful applicants will not need to apply again for the same status once the scheme opens fully next year.

Please note that making an application during this pilot phase is entirely voluntary. There will be no change to your current rights under EU law until the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020. If you choose not to apply during this phase you will be able to apply once the scheme is fully open by 30 March 2019 and at any time up until 30 June 2021, in line with the draft Withdrawal Agreement with the EU.

Please note that Irish citizens enjoy a right of residence in the UK that is not reliant on the UK’s membership of the EU. They will not be required to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme, but may do so if they wish.

Support:

For any questions about an application made during the pilot, contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre by calling 0300 123 7379 (inside the UK) or +44 (0) 203 080 0010 (outside the UK). Find out about call charges on www.gov.uk/call-charges. You can also ask a question using the online submissions form eu-settled-status-enquiries.service.gov.uk.

An assisted digital service is available for those who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to complete the online application form. If you require such support with your application, please contact We Are Digital by calling 03333 445675 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). Further information on this service can be found on GOV.UK once the pilot goes live.

For more information about the EU Settlement Scheme you can visit GOV.UK.

John Brady

Director of Human Resources

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