No fee, but still compulsory
for your EU workforce to
apply to the Settlement Scheme
January 22, 2019
The EU Settlement Scheme will continue to go ahead, despite the announcement yesterday from the Prime Minister that she will scrap the £65 fee for adults, and reimburse everyone who has already paid to register for ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status.
But there are still concerns about the size of the enterprise.
There are more than three million people living in the UK who are EU citizens. All of them will need to register their immigration status before July 2021. If they do not, they risk losing their rights to work and reside in this country and, in some extreme cases, may ultimately face difficulty in remaining in the UK – Windrush style.
Campaign group the3million, who were responsible for informing the PM’s decision to waive the charges, said:
‘Because of the scale of the operation – registering up to 3.8 million people – and the time allowed, the Home Office is looking at having to process 5,000 applications a day for the next two years. If they are struggling with smaller numbers now, then EU citizens risk becoming the new Windrush.’
The two private beta tests of the Scheme have thrown up issues for people who are not tech-savvy, or who have difficulties reading or understanding English. So far, only 27,000 people have been successful.
Many have complained that the digital app, specifically designed to process the applications, doesn’t always recognise the chip in their passport. And as the app only works on Android devices, it means that 50% of the population who use iPhones will not be able to access it at all. This problem with Apple was first highlighted nearly a year ago.
The Home Office has set up a ‘resolution centre’ and taken on 150 more caseworkers to help with enquiries.
The third, public test launched yesterday. It is open to EU nationals who hold a valid EU passport, and their dependants who have a biometric residence card. The scheme will fully launch at the end of March.
How Smith Stone Walters can help
While it is good news that there will not be any charges for employees, there is still a huge administrative task ahead to ensure that every member of your EU workforce is registered and remains compliant with the new immigration rules.
We can help. We are offering a comprehensive Brexit Immigration Service, which will remove this burden and reassure both you and your EU workers. You can tailor it to your specific requirements. The resources we are offering include:
- A thorough audit
We will review the status of each of your EU employees and their dependants to demonstrate how the Settlement Scheme will affect them and their family members
- Bespoke presentations
We will deliver seminar sessions to your staff tailored to meet your objectives in completing the Scheme efficiently.
- Settlement Scheme surgeries
With your consent, we will provide onsite one-to-one drop-in sessions with your EU employees.
- Assistance with applications
We will assist with submitting pre-settled and settled status applications of the EU Settlement Scheme on behalf of your workers.
- Compliance reviews
We will examine your organisation’s Right to Work checks and provide advice on best practice after Brexit.
- Our unique EU Tracker
You will be able to manage and track the progress of your EU citizens’ journey towards EU settlement via our unique EU Tracker. Boasting a host of features, our robust and secure software platform will support both you and your EU employee through the process of applying for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. The EU Tracker will provide your business with a real-time overview of the current progress made by your EU staff towards settled status and ensure they apply within the permitted time.
Talk to Smith Stone Walters about how we can support your organisation and assist your EU employees in securing their long-term status in the UK.
We hold the answers.