EU Settlement Scheme – we ask Ant!

For the estimated 3.8 million EU citizens living and working in the UK, a major consideration of Brexit is what their rights and status will be after Britain leaves.

The EU Settlement Scheme is the government’s mechanism to allow EU citizens and their families to continue living in the UK after 30th June 2021, or 31st December 2020 if Britain leaves without a deal.

The scheme is currently in a test phase and will be opened fully by 30th March 2019. It’s a online application after which you are granted either settled or pre-settled status in the UK.

Liquid Friday’s King of Compliance Anthony Lafarge, is a French national who has lived in the UK for almost 8 years. He has just completed his own application to the EU Settlement Scheme, so who better to give us the lowdown!

Ant, how did you feel about having to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, especially when you’ve lived here for so long?

“I was happy to do it, I heard that some people were offended by it but I accept and understand that the Home Office had to create a rule to be able to control which EU citizens were settled before Brexit and which ones weren’t when 2021 comes.”

Was applying easy?

“At the moment you can only apply if you have access to an Android device. The first part you use Android to scan your passport or ID card for them to check, and then the other part is on the Home Office website, so you can use your phone, PC or tablet.”

Did it take long to complete?

“No, only about 10 minutes, I was very impressed by the simplicity of it. I had a reply from the Home Office only a few hours after applying and it was successful.”

Did you have to pay?

“At the time I had to pay £65 but then Theresa May decided to scrap the fee and I will be reimbursed.”

What documentation did you have to provide?

“This depends on what information they can get from your NI number. Since I paid tax in the UK 5 years ago (you have to prove you have been living in the UK for 5 years), they only requested a photo of my passport, which I did via their App.”

Did you encounter any problems?

“None at all, but I know that a few people have had issues with taking a picture of their passport and the scanning process.”

When will they confirm your status?

“They didn’t specify how long this would take, but since this is a brand new process I can understand this. I was very surprised, and extremely happy, to see that my application was reviewed and accepted on the same day.”

Any other tips for anyone applying?

“The Home Office does not deliver any kind of documents across to prove that you have successfully applied and been granted indefinite leave to remain (ILR). Instead the Home Office keeps record of the ID you have used and links the ILR onto it via their database. Therefore I would advise anyone applying for the EU Settlement scheme to use ID with the longest expiry date to avoid having to renew their application.”

Thanks Ant for that great insight into the process of applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. It’s good to know it’s pretty straightforward in the majority of cases, and it is also welcome news that the £65 fee has now been scrapped.

From an employer’s perspective, Joe Taffurelli, Liquid Friday’s Head of Operations, said:

“I am so pleased that Ant found this process so simple! From an employer’s point of view we need to keep our people. Whatever support we can provide during this process we will do. Having a member of the team actually complete this process means we can give our workers real practical advice. #askant”

Information for EU contractors living in the UK

The deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme is the 30th June 2021.

We will be producing a comprehensive guide to the scheme for EU contractors living in the UK and agencies engaging EU workers. To pre-order your free copy, email [email protected]