NFB welcomes Government’s statement of intent on EU settlement scheme
The Home Office has published details of the settlement scheme that will allow EU citizens to secure permanent residence, after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.
EU citizens who have lived continuously in the UK for 5 years will be granted “settled status”, while EU nationals with less than 5 years of residence will be given “pre-settled status” and be able to apply for settled status once they have reached 5 years of continuous residence.
Applications will cost £65 for adults and £32.50 for children under the age of 16. The system will be rolled out in a phased manner from late 2018, with a view to make it fully operational by 30 March 2019. EU citizens will be eligible to apply if they have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020. The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.
The digital application process will be streamlined, accessible and will draw on government data to minimise the burden on applicants to provide evidence of residence. The process will take applicants through three stages: proving their identity and nationality, declaring they are not serious criminals, and proving their residence in the UK.
Applicants will be able to submit a valid EU passport or a national identity card, as well as a recent photograph, to prove their identity either via a smart-phone app or by post. To make the process simpler for the majority of EU nationals, the Home Office will check existing data from HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions to certify proof of residence.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) appreciates the Government’s efforts to help EU nationals living in the UK secure their residency rights and will monitor developments on the matter very closely.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “EU citizens have made and continue to make a substantial contribution not just to the national economy, but to the UK’s construction industry. We welcome the Government’s efforts to secure their legal rights to continue their lives in this country and will keep a close eye on this scheme over the following months.”
Monika Slowikowska, director of London-based Golden Homes and board member of the House Builders Association (HBA), said: “Simplifying the application process for permanent UK residency is vital, not only for individuals but for all industries. In construction, more than 50% of workers are aged 45 and over, EU nationals will play a vital role in combatting that retirement time bomb.”