In June 2018 the Home Office announced plans to carry out further assessment of the proposed EU Settlement Scheme.
An update was published on 11 October 2018 which set out the eligibility criteria to become a part of the pilot which opens on 1 November 2018.
Who is eligible to apply?
The Home Office has decided to involve the NHS and higher education sectors in this pilot scheme. Those eligible to apply will be:
1. Resident EU citizens with a valid passport.
Normally, EU citizens can apply by submitting their national identification card which means that they can travel abroad using their passport. Under this Scheme however, sending the Passport with the application will be mandatory.
2. Non-EU citizen family member of an EU citizen holding a biometric residence card.
Family members who themselves are EU nationals will not be able to apply during this phase of pilot.
From 1 November 2018 only EU nationals working at one of the 15 NHS Trusts or three universities in north-west England will be eligible to participate.
From 15 November 2018 the pilot will open to:
- All EU residents who are employed by a higher education institution or overseas higher institution in the UK which is registered under the Tier 4 Register of Licensed Sponsors
- Children under the age of 18 under the care of one of the local authorities involved in the pilot, or those eligible for support or assistance from one of those local authorities who were looked after by them as a child
- EU residents receiving support from one of the community organisations involved in the pilot
From 29 November 2018, EU residents employed by an organisation in the health or social care sector in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales will be eligible.
What should employers do?
The scheme will be fully operational from March 2019. Therefore, if you are an employer, you should act early and:
- Review your records to identify EU nationals
- Prepare all-staff communication; you may have employees with family members who are EU nationals
- Review or obtain advice about the EU Settlement Scheme and requirements for residence or settlement documentation
- If you contract-out services, engage with the contractor to identify their staff
- Consider reimbursing the £65 Home Office fee, to encourage compliance with the requirements