have you updated your EU
Settlement Scheme details?
23 March 2020
In the last 12 months, over three million applications have been made to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Since registering, how many of individual European nationals would you estimate have:
- renewed their passport;
- change their mobile number; or
- moved address.
An educated guess of just 1% would equate to 30,000 European nationals who would have subsequently needed to ‘update’ the personal data they oritginally provided to the Home Office via their EU Settlement Scheme application.
If the personal circumstances of just 7% of EU nationals has changed, then the number of individuals needing to update their personal information would be in excess of 200,000.
So how many updates have been made by EU nationals in the last year? The answer is: we don’t know.
Earlier this month, Smith Stone Walters filed a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office asking:
”For each quarterly period since the EU Settlement Scheme was fully opened on 30 March 2019, please can you confirm the number of individuals to have successfully updated their personal information since registering via the scheme.”
Unfortunately, our request was denied on the grounds that the Home Office should be able to ‘plan its publication of information in a managed and cost-effective way’. In the meantime, Smith Stone Walters has appealed this decision and will await further clarification in due course.
What updates are needed?
Each successful applicant to the EU Settlement Scheme receives written confirmation from the Home Office of their new status. The status awarded to each EU national is either settled or pre-settled status depending on whether they have lived in the UK for a continuous five year period or not.
Buried on page four of each Home Office approval letter it states:
”If you renew or replace the identity document you used in your application, or you change your name after making your application, you will need to tell us so that your status is up to date and so that you can continue to access your status.”
The Home Office expects the following information to be kept up to date:
- mobile phone number;
- email address;
- identity document;and
- UK address.
These details must be up to date in order for each registered EU national to view and prove their rights to others.
Whilst there are currently alternative ways for an EU national to prove their status with employers or landlords, the situation will change in January next year.
Once the United Kingdom formally leaves the EU, European nationals will be expected to view and share details of their status with others (such as employers and landlords) using the Home Office online status service called ‘View and Prove your Settled and Pre-Settled Status’. However, this will only be possible if the information stored is up to date.
Smith Stone Walters is concerned that a significant number of EU nationals are unaware of the need to keep their online status updated and, consequently, many may face issues in proving their right to work or reside in the UK. Perhaps the Home Office recognise the same and therefore chose to deny our Freedom of Information request until such time as a solution can be found.