Pilot scheme launched for EU27 remainers

The UK government's EU Settlement Scheme, under which more than three million EU27 nationals living in Britain will be able to apply to remain in the country after Brexit, was launched in a pilot scheme on Tuesday.

UK and EU flags illustrates an article about UK home office scheme to offer residency to EU27 residents living in the UK
Following the publication earlier in August of a UK government 'toolkit' for HR departments at companies with EU employees, the trial will enable 4,000 Europeans working or studying at 12 NHS trusts in NW England, plus EU students and staff at three Liverpool universities, to apply for post-Brexit 'settled status'.

EU27 settlement scheme to roll out across the UK from the end of 2018

The government intends to roll out the scheme across the country from the end of the year. Tuesday's trial was aimed at determining the likely demand and at ironing out any problems with the scheme.Applicants will be required to attend an appointment with a Home Office representative who will help take them through the application process, although when the scheme is launched nationally, people will be able to make applications online.The scheme is open to EU27 nationals who will have been in the UK for five years by the end of 2020. Those in the country who will not have five years' residence by then, can seek to stay until they have, when they will be entitled to seek settled status.Applications, which cost £65 for adults and £32.50 for children under the age of 16, involve people being required to prove their identity, declare any criminal convictions and upload a facial photograph.

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The Home Office will check employment and benefits data to confirm proof of residence, while all applications will be run through UK criminality and security databases.

Concerns the UK Home Office will not have resources to cope with EU citizen applications

Tuesday's launch came after concerns had been raised that the Home Office lacked the resources to handle applications from the estimated 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK.Merseyside councillor Nick Small, who has a large number of EU nationals living in his city centre ward, told the Liverpool Post that he considered it 'disgraceful' that the city had been chosen for the pilot project."I've got more EU nationals in my ward than anywhere else in Liverpool," he said. "These plans - voluntary now, compulsory later - will turn EU nationals, many of whom have lived, raised families, worked and paid taxes here for many years, into second class citizens."They'll have to register with the government and pay £65 each to live and work here and access public services."It's disgraceful this is being carried out in Liverpool in our universities and hospitals. They should not be signing up to this, especially when we don't know what's going to happen with Brexit."In a statement, the pro-EU lobby group, Liverpool for Europe, also said it "regretted" the collaboration of the institutions involved.The government's employer toolkit was intended to equip employers with the right tools and information to support EU citizens and their families using EU Settlement Scheme. The toolkit contained a briefing pack to communicate the facts to employees; leaflets containing important information for EU citizens in the UK; the steps needed to apply for settlement status and explanations of the terminology used; and posters showing important dates, the benefits of applying, and the steps to be taken.The Home Office said it wanted to make the process "as quick and user-friendly as possible" and that the full scheme would be in place by March 30 next year.It also reminded EU citizens that their rights would not change until the end of the Brexit transition period in 2021 and so they did not need to apply straight away - a reminder that was being interpreted as a bid to avoid a sudden inundation of paperwork.For more Brexit related news, visit our Brexit pages.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre

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