The EU Settlement Scheme was launched on Saturday 30 March following both private and public testing of the application process which began in August 2018.
During the testing phases of the scheme there were over 230,000 applications, of which 210,000 cases have already been concluded. Since the scheme went fully live on Saturday, over 50,000 further applications have been received. This brings the total number of applications to over 280,000.
EU citizens applying to the scheme only need to complete three key steps – prove their identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions. Applicants can use any laptop, tablet or mobile device to apply.
For those who want to apply entirely online, a custom identity document check app has been developed to allow applicants to verify their identity remotely and swiftly.
While the app is currently available on Android devices, the Home Secretary has confirmed it will also be available on Apple devices later this year.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Our EU Settlement Scheme is now up and running and after a successful launch, over 280,000 EU citizens have applied so that they can continue to live their lives as they do now.
I’m also pleased to confirm that Apple will make the identity document check app available on their devices by the end of the year.
The app is just one of several ways people will be able to verify their identity, including by post. There will also be over 50 locations where applicants can have their passport scanned and verified. Assisted digital support and a dedicated telephone advice and support service are also available.
To ensure the scheme is a success, the Home Office has boosted EU Settlement Scheme staff numbers to over 1,500, developed an entirely new case working system and created a new resolution centre to resolve telephone, email and online queries.
Deal or no deal, EU citizens will have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply.