4.How will a valid application under the scheme be made?
4.1.Before we can consider whether a person is eligible for status under the EU Settlement Scheme, we need to receive a valid application from them.
4.2.The requirements for an application under the scheme to be valid will be as straightforward as possible. If a person submits an application which is missing any of the components required for it to be valid, it will not be rejected as invalid without the person being prompted or contacted by the Home Office and given a reasonable opportunity to provide what is needed to avoid this.
4.3.There will be four requirements for a valid application.
4.4.First, it will need to be made, initially at least, in the UK and made using the required application process.8 This will be the digital application process which will be provided on GOV.UK, or the assisted digital application process for those who need assistance to complete the online application process, for applicants under the scheme who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.9 Consideration is also being given to the particular circumstances in which the provision of a paper application form may be appropriate. We will also confirm the scope, beyond a parent applying on behalf of a child or a local authority on behalf of a ‘looked after’ child,10 for the application process to be completed on behalf of a person without the capacity to complete it themselves.
4.5.Work on the design of the digital application process is well under way and is being informed by the views of the user groups the Home Office has established to support the development of the EU Settlement Scheme. The user groups include representatives of EU citizens resident in the UK, of the embassies and consulates of the other 27 Member States, of business and community groups, and of external stakeholders who represent the needs of potentially vulnerable individuals. EU citizens who have volunteered to do so are testing the online application process so that we can learn from their experience and make it as clear and
4.6.Second, a valid application will involve payment of any required fee. Subject to Parliamentary consideration of changes to the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations, we propose that:
•The application fee will be £65 (the same as the current fee for a permanent residence document) for a person aged 16 or over. The fee for those aged under 16 will be £32.50.
•There will be no application fee for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) where the applicant has previously been issued a permanent residence document (that is a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card, issued by the UK under the EEA Regulations) and this status:
–has not lapsed or has done so through absence from the UK for a period of more than two consecutive years (as set out in the Free Movement Directive) but not more than five consecutive years (as set out in the draft Withdrawal Agreement); and
–has not been lost (for example because a deportation order has been made in relation to the person).
•There will be no application fee for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) where the applicant has previously been granted indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK (as evidenced by a biometric residence permit, other valid document or endorsement issued by the Home Office or Home Office records) and this status has not lapsed (through absence from the UK for more than two consecutive years) or been revoked or invalidated.
•There will, from April 2019, be no application fee for settled status (indefinite leave to remain) where the person already has
•There will be no requirement for an application fee where a child is being ‘looked after’ by a local authority.
•The Home Office may, as in other routes, retain an administrative fee (and, if so, the amount will be confirmed in due course) where an applicant pays an application fee but otherwise fails to submit a valid application, after being contacted by the Home Office and given a reasonable opportunity to provide what is needed for the application to be valid and avoid it being rejected as invalid.
4.7.Applicants under the scheme will not be required to pay the Immigration Health Charge.
4.8.Third, the applicant will need to provide the required proof of their identity and nationality. For an EU citizen, this will be a valid11 passport or a valid national identity card. For a
4.9.The means by which the applicant will be able to provide the required proof of their identity and nationality will include:
•As part of the digital application process (through a smartphone app which facilitates the reading of the chip in a biometric document), either using a personal device or at a location established to enable the applicant to use the app or be helped to do so; or
•By a secure postal route in the UK, by which we will aim to return the document to them as soon as we can, to minimise delays if other aspects of the application need further consideration.
4.10.Fourth, the applicant will need to enrol their facial image so that we can compare this with the photograph in their identity document and be satisfied that they are one and the same person. An EU citizen will be able to upload a
8We are considering the scope for overseas applications under the scheme and more information will be provided in due course. We are also considering how best to deal under the scheme with any
9Given the mainly digital nature of the application process, there may be no or limited scope to withdraw an application made under it.
10Within the meaning of section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989, section 17(6) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, section 74(1) of the Social Services and
11This means that the document is genuine and has not expired or been cancelled or invalidated. 18