To over 3.5 million EU citizens who have made the UK their home: you are our friends, our neighbours and our colleagues, and our country is all the better for it.
Whilst our future relationship with the EU is uncertain and I understand the anxiety this may cause, I want you to know how much we want you to stay regardless of whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal.
EU Settlement Scheme fully open
The EU Settlement Scheme is now officially open. This means that the rights you and your family currently have, including access to employment, healthcare, benefits and pensions, are protected – so you can continue to live your lives as you do now. After a successful launch on Saturday, more than 50,000 applications were made over the weekend. This brings the total number of applications to over 280,000.
Applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is completely free, and the Home Office’s aim is to make it as simple and straightforward as possible. All you need to do is complete a three-step application with a laptop, tablet or mobile device to prove your identity, confirm you live in the UK and declare any criminal convictions.
Let me be clear, we are looking for reasons to grant people status and we want everyone to get the status they are eligible to receive.
Support for everyone
As Home Secretary, I’m determined that no-one is left behind. That is why up to £9m has been made available for supporting more vulnerable people, whether they are homeless, elderly, disabled or unaware of the Scheme so far, to make an application. For those without access to a computer, or lacking the skills or confidence to use one, there will be assistance available in Assisted Digital locations across the country.
The Scheme has already been thoroughly tested. Nearly four out of five of those who have applied did not need to provide any additional evidence or send in their documents for checking.
There are now multiple routes for providing an identity document. For example, you can use the ID Document Check app from the comfort of your own home, post your document to us, or visit one of the many locations where documents can be scanned and verified. We have 1,500 specially trained staff on hand to assess your application.
ID check app on Apple devices
I know many of you will have read that it is currently not possible to use the ID document check app to verify identity on Apple devices. I’ve had numerous conversations with Apple at the highest levels to ensure everyone can use the app. Together we’ve been working hard to find a solution that will allow the app to work on their devices. I’m pleased to confirm that Apple will be making the necessary changes and the app will be working on their mobile and tablet devices by the end of the year.
We’re committed to ensuring that people in every corner of the UK know what they need to do to secure their status. A £3.75m nationwide marketing campaign is encouraging people to apply now, and you may have already seen the adverts in your local area.
We have worked hard to ensure this Scheme provides EU citizens with the certainty they want, and we are confident that it will be a success.
Please do make sure your EU citizen friends and family know about the Scheme. To find out more go to GOV.UK.
Rt Hon Sajid Javid