PM waives fee for settled status applications

Written by Richard Johnstone and Sam Trendall on 23 January 2019 in News
News

Process for EU nationals to apply to remain in the UK will now be free

Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

Prime minister Theresa May has announced that the government will cancel plans to charge a £65 fee for EU nationals to apply for settled status in the UK.

In a statement to the House of Commons this week, the prime minister (pictured above) said that she had listened to concerns from MPs and civil society groups that the fee could create a barrier for EU nationals to apply to stay in the UK after Brexit.

Previously, the government had said EU nationals would need to pay the full fee, or £32.50 for children, to gain settled status, which is available to those have lived continuously in the UK for five years.

The fee was intended to part fund the cost of the Home Office settled status scheme. However, May announced that the fee will now be scrapped entirely when the programme to register is launched in full at the end of March – and anyone who has applied during the pilot scheme will have their fee repaid.


Related content


The government has been criticised for the fact that, to apply digitally, EU citizens require access to an Android device. Advice published on GOV.UK instructs users who do not own any such devices that “you can use someone else’s phone or tablet” to apply.

The pilot scheme, which was open to EU citizens employed in social care, NHS, and higher education, did not accept postal submissions of documents. For those wishing to take part but without access to an Android phone or tablet, the government set up 13 document-scanning locations – although some parts of the country were more than 250 miles away from any of these.

The app’s incompatibility with iPhones hinges on its need to access a device’s near-field communication capability. Apple has previously prevented third-party applications from accessing NFC.

The Home Office is understood to have engaged with the tech firm to try and find a solution, with home secretary Sajid Javid even having met with top executives at Apple’s California headquarters, according to a BBC report.

PublicTechnology has contacted Apple and the Home Office to enquire as to whether any update is available.

Announcing the cancellation of the £65 fee, the PM acknowledged that there had been “anxieties facing EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU who are waiting to have their status confirmed”.

“We have already committed to ensuring that EU citizens in the UK will be able to stay, and to continue to access in-country benefits and services on broadly the same terms as now, in both a deal and a no deal scenario,” she told MPs.

May added: "Indeed, the next phase of testing of the scheme for EU nationals to confirm their status has launched today. And having listened to concerns from members – and organisations like the 3 Million group [that campaigns for the rights of EU nationals in the UK] – I can confirm today that when we roll out the scheme in full on 30 March, the government will waive the application fee so that there is no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay.”
 

About the author

Richard Johnstone is deputy and online editor of PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where a version of this story first appeared.
 

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Watch: NHS and industry experts discuss opportunities and challenges of AI
4 October 2019

Webinar discussion – which is available to view for free – covers ethics, technical barriers, and key use cases of artificial intelligence

AI fought the law?
4 October 2019

The relationship between artificial intelligence and the law is receiving ever greater focus – while somehow becoming less clear. PublicTechnology looks at the role that regulators and...

AI Week: Turing Institute on why government should use data science to ‘make better policy’
3 October 2019

Helen Margetts and Cosmina Dorobantu from the Turing’s public policy programme talk to PublicTechnology about ethics, explainability, and why government has ‘unique expertise’ it can...

Related Sponsored Articles

"Cyber crime is big business": Cyber awareness month
22 October 2019

As part of October’s Cyber Security Awareness Month, BT is sharing their top tips on how keep information secure for both you and your organisation 

Protecting what matters most: Security for growth
15 October 2019

Security can help you grow whilst protecting the very core of your organisation, writes BT 

Secure SD-WAN: Security by design
8 October 2019

BT looks at how to secure your SD-WAN services, starting with security by design 

Cloud security – it’s not black and white
1 October 2019

Nigel Hawthorn looks at how to review cloud use, report on risks and apply policies to reduce likely data loss incidents in this latest insight from BT