World Bulletin / News Desk
According to the new scheme unveiled by the Home Office, the EU citizens in the U.K. will have to “prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions” to be able to apply for the new scheme.
Home Office’s Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes has announced £65 ($86) planned fee for adults applying under the scheme and £32.50 ($43) for a children under 16.
“The Home Office will check the employment and benefit records held by government which will mean that, for many, their proof of residence will be automatic,” a statement by the office said.
It said “those who have not yet lived in the UK for five years will be granted pre-settled status and be able to apply for settled status once they reach the five-year point.”
“From April 2019, this second application will be free of charge,” it added.
“EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and to our society. They are our friends, family and colleagues and we want them to stay,” Nokes said in a statement at the House of Commons.
“This is an important step which will make it easy for EU citizens to get the status they need to continue working and living here.”
The draft rules will “deliver on the citizens’ rights agreement with the EU reached in March this year, which also guarantees the rights of UK nationals living in the EU,” according to the statement.
Describing the newly published scheme as “real progress”, Nokes said: “I look forward to hearing more detail on how the EU will make reciprocal arrangements for UK nationals living in the EU.”
More than 1 million British citizens are currently residing in EU member states.
“The new online application system will be accessible through phones, tablets, laptops and computers,” the Home Office said.
The settlement scheme will open in a phased way from later this year and “will be fully open by 30 March 2019.”
The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.
Britain is set to leave the EU in March 2019.