UK Home Secretary Outlines Settlement Process for EU Citizens
At Diamond, many of our colleagues and workers have moved to Northern Ireland from across the EU and even further afield, so we welcome the UK Home Secretary's announcement outlining the settlement process for EU citizens post-Brexit.
With many of our colleagues in Diamond having moved to Northern Ireland from across the EU and even further afield, we value the important contributions migrants have made to our business and local economy as a whole. Understandably, some of our EU colleagues have been concerned about their status in Northern Ireland and the UK more generally since the “Brexit” Referendum.
We’re happy to see that late last week the UK Home Secretary announced the process for EU citizens to apply for “settled” status if they have been living in the UK.
This “settled” status will allow any of our colleagues who are EU citizens to remain here beyond June 2021, continuing to work and contributing positively to the increasing diversity of Northern Ireland’s society.
More details on the application process – including important deadlines, costs and documents required – are included in the UK Home Secretary’s open letter to EU citizens in the UK, which we have copied below.
For our EU colleagues, I hope this recent announcement gives you some assurance of your long-term prospects in the UK.
Open Letter from the Home Secretary to EU citizens in the UK
As Home Secretary, I take immense pride that so many EU citizens like you have made your home here.
Safeguarding the rights of EU citizens in the UK has always been our first priority and the agreement we reached with the EU earlier this year did just that. The rights that you and your family currently have are protected which include access to healthcare, benefits and pensions.
Away from the negotiations, my team in the Home Office have been working hard to develop the service that you’ll use to get your settled status. This work will continue as we make sure that the system and processes are rigorously tested and meet every requirement ahead of the launch.
Today I am able to announce in more detail what this system will look like.
Most importantly, the application process is designed to be simple. Most people will only need to complete three sections to prove their identity, show that they live here and declare that they have no serious criminal convictions. We will also check employment and benefits records we already hold in government which for many people will mean that their proof of living here is automatic. We hope therefore most people will not need to do anything beyond typing in personal details.
What’s more, settled status will cost less than the fee for a British passport - £65 and £32.50 for children under 16. For those who already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, they will be able to exchange it for free.
There will be support for the vulnerable and those without access to a computer, and we’re working with EU citizens’ representatives and embassies to ensure the system works for everyone.
I should stress that you do not need to do anything just yet. The scheme will open later this year and we are on track to open the scheme fully by 30 March 2019. The deadline for applications to the scheme will be 30 June 2021 so there will be plenty of time for you to apply and there are absolutely no quotas for applications.
In the meantime, please do share this message with your friends and family so that they too can stay up to date through our mailing list.
I hope you will agree with me that this is an important step towards the commitment we made to you and your families so that you can continue your lives here.