NHS workers, university staff and students in the North West of England will be taking part in a private pilot of the new application process for the EU Settlement Scheme.
In a managed live trial, EU citizens working at 12 NHS Trusts, and students and staff from 3 Liverpool universities, will be invited to make real applications for settled status through the new digital process.
It will allow those working on the scheme to test the system using real applicants and make improvements ahead of the launch of the scheme’s phased rollout towards the end of 2018.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:
EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and to our society and we want them to stay.
The EU Settlement Scheme will make it easy for EU citizens to get the status they need, and when it is launched they will only need to complete three key steps - prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions.
We are inviting a small group of EU citizens to make an application to help us ensure the system will be ready when the rollout begins later this year.
This private pilot, which follows the standard approach for the launch of new Government services, will begin on 28 August 2018.
The initial pilot phase will be accessible by invite only. Up to 4,000 applicants will be able to apply on a voluntary basis.
Assuming they are eligible, all those who go through the process will be granted settled status.
Certain features to be included in the settlement scheme application process will not be available. Applicants will need to attend an appointment with a Home Office representative who will help to take them through the online application process.
The 12 NHS Trusts and three Universities that are taking part in the private beta phase starting from 28 August are:
- Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
- Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust
- Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
- The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust
- The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
- Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Liverpool Hope University
- Liverpool John Moores University
- The University of Liverpool