Good News for EU citizens in the UK
This has been a good week for EU citizens living in the UK and concerned about the quality of their welcome.
The week began with the launch of the third phase of the trial of the process by which EU citizens may apply for settled and pre-settled status. It’s now open to EU citizens who hold a valid biometric passport. It’s also open to non-EU family members who hold a valid UK biometric identity card.
At the same time the Home Office published a report on the test phase of the application process between 1 November – 21 December. This indicates 27,000 decisions were made. All the applications considered were granted with 70% of the decisions granting ‘Settled Status’ and 30% ‘Pre-Settled Status’. 80% of applications were processed within a week. As always, this sort of statistical analysis must be treated with caution because it’s only a snapshot of a test outside normal operating conditions and approximately 2,800 applications were awaiting a decision. Nevertheless, it’s a better start than I expected.
Shortly afterwards the Prime Minister announced the government is waiving the £65 fee on applications under the settlement scheme so applications will now be free of charge. Furthermore, the 30,000+ applicants who paid the fee will receive a full refund.
Then yesterday Her Majesty the Queen reinforced her Christmas message by speaking about the values of patience, tolerance, friendship and considering the needs of others. Her remarks in a village hall in Norfolk seem to have struck a chord not just in the UK but around the world.
Wrapping up a good week for EU citizens the government has just published an initial list of locations from Bath to Caerphilly and Hull to Edinburgh and Belfast at which EU citizens who don’t have an Android device with Near Field Communication can have their identity documents scanned.
Our immigration solicitors are among the best in the South. If you require legal advice from one of our dedicated lawyers, contact us today on 0800 2800 421. We have offices in Salisbury, Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole and Winchester to meet your requirements.
© James Humphery – Employment & Immigration Solicitor Salisbury