The Home Office has today (2 May) published its report into the public beta test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme.
The public beta test phase of the EU Settlement Scheme was launched on 21 January 2019 and closed on 29 March 2019. It was limited to applications using either an EU passport or a biometric residence card (containing a biometric chip) as proof of identity and nationality. This enabled the Home Office to continue to test the EU Exit: Identity Document Check app as an integrated part of the online application process.
Over 200,000 applications were received during the public beta test phase, including 8,152 on the first day. By 16 April 2019, 187,959 of these applications had been decided. 69% of the concluded applications were granted settled status, 31% were granted pre-settled status and none was refused. Many of the applicants received their decision within 4 days.
During the public beta test phase:
- 95% of applicants successfully used the app to prove their identity remotely
- 987 devices from 92 manufacturers successfully used the app
- 75% of applicants were able to use the app to prove their identity remotely in under 10 minutes
- 88% of applicants were able to have their UK residence automatically checked by providing their National Insurance Number
- 73% of decided adult cases did not need to provide any further evidence of UK residence following the automated checks or because they held a valid permanent residence document or existing indefinite leave to remain
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:
EU citizens are our friends, family and neighbours and we want them to stay.
The testing phase provided us with valuable insight to ensure that it as easy as possible for EU citizens to get the status they need through the EU Settlement Scheme.
It is performing well and I am pleased that more than 600,000 people have already applied.
The public beta test phase followed 2 successful private beta test phases which included employees in the higher education, health and social care sectors. The scheme was fully launched on 30 March 2019 and so far more than 600,000 people have applied, including 50,000 on the opening weekend.
The EU Settlement Scheme is designed to make it straightforward for EU citizens and their family members to stay after the UK leaves the EU.
They only need to complete 3 key steps – prove their identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions. Deal or no deal, EU citizens will have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply.
Further information will be published in statistical updates and a more detailed quarterly official statistics publication from August 2019.