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Brexit Update: Government Publishes ‘Technical Document’ on EU citizens’ rights

Last night, Theresa May confirmed that the EU Withdrawal Bill would be amended to formally commit to Brexit at 23:00 GMT on 29 March 2019. This comes after the government published a ‘technical document’ on Tuesday setting out further details of how the new settled status scheme for EU nationals and their family members would operate as the UK leaves the EU. The document seeks to reassure the 3 million EU citizens currently living in the UK of their immigration status post-Brexit.

‘Streamlined’ application process

The government recognises that the current application process for registration certificates and permanent residence documents is ‘not fit’ for purpose and it will be designing a new system which will be “user friendly”. The technical document also confirms:

  • There will be a 2 year grace period for EU citizens and their family members to apply for settled status
  • Minimal documentary evidence required – case workers will verify status with HMRC
  • Application fee will not exceed the cost of a British passport (currently £72.50)
  • Permanent Residence document holders will need to exchange this for a settled status document but the process will be simple and application fee reduced

The government recognises that the current application process for registration certificates and permanent residence documents is ‘not fit’ for purpose and it will be designing a new system which will be “user friendly”.

Eligibility criteria

The criteria for granting EU status will be “simple and transparent”. The Home Office will not check whether Comprehensive Sickness Insurance has been held by those who are not economically active or those who are students. In addition to this, applicants will no longer have to account for every trip outside the UK in the qualifying period.

Refusals

Case workers will exercise discretion where necessary. Where an application is refused as a result of a case working error, there will be an administrative review process in place to resolve this and beyond this, EU nationals and their family members will have a statutory right of appeal.

The document has been sent to the EU Commission as part of Brexit negotiations and talks are set to continue this week.

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