Second phase of the EU settlement scheme pilot opens to the education sector


From 15 November 2018, those working for the education sector can take part in the second phase of the EU Settlement Scheme pilot.

Following completion of the first Beta test phase, the second phase of the EU Settlement scheme pilot has this week opened to a wider group and will run until 21 December 2018 with the full rollout expected by January 2019 (these dates may be subject to change).  

During the first phase we understand that:

  • 1,051 applications were received on which (as of October) 924 decisions were made;
  • the majority of applicants did not have to provide any additional evidence; decisions were made solely on automated checks against HMRC data;
  • the average turnaround time for applications was nine days, with most being processed within three days; 
  • 95% of those who used the scheme reported that it was easy to operate;
  • all applicants successfully confirmed their identity. 


This next phase is designed to test the full end to end process including integrating the online application process with the app designed to check ID documents. 

Those wishing to take part in the pilot need to be:

  • an EU citizen with a valid passport resident in the UK; or 
  • a non-EU citizen family member of an EU citizen and the holder of a biometric residence card issued after 6 April 2015; and 
  • physically present in the UK.


They also need to be working at a higher education institution or overseas higher education institution in the UK and listed as such on the Tier 4 register of sponsors. The UKVI has clarified that ‘working at’ is not limited to those on the payroll of the education provider but also includes contractors, agency workers etc.  

Dependants, including children, are not included in this test phase unless they also happen to meet the eligibility criteria for the pilot. Therefore, those with family members may decide to wait until the scheme is fully rolled out and apply at the same time. 

Please note that while those individuals who meet the requirements for pre-settled status can apply, for this pilot the Home Office is encouraging applications from eligible individuals who have been in the UK for five years and so qualify for settled status. 

Higher education institutions will have been sent information packs from the Home Office.  This information should be shared with EU staff.


FAQs on the application process 

How is the application made? 

Online and by using the app ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’. 

I don’t have an Android phone, can I still apply?

Yes, as long as you have access to an Android phone.

What questions will I be asked? 

Personal details including your National Insurance number, connection to the EU national (if you are a non-EU national) and details of any criminal convictions. Those with a serious or persistent criminal record are not eligible to apply under the pilot and should seek further advice.

What documents are required? 

Your passport and photo (which can be taken on your phone) will need to be uploaded. No proof of residence is required as these checks are carried out through background checks by the Home Office. 

How much does it cost?

£65 per adult and £32.50 per child. Those who have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to remain can apply without being charged.

How long will processing take? 

It is expected that a decision will be made quickly and the process should take days rather than months.

What status will I get? 

Settled status if you have been in the UK for five years and pre-settled status if you have not. 

What if I receive pre-settled status but believe I am eligible for settled status?

There is an option to provide further documents to demonstrate five years of residence.

What confirmation will I receive?  

You will receive an email with a PDF letter confirming that you either have pre-settled status or settled status. Non-EU nationals will receive a biometric residence permit. (BRP).  

Will this confirmation be sufficient for my employer to continue to employ me? 

Your current employer should not have to re-confirm your immigration status in the UK. 

Note: If you already hold permanent residency/indefinite leave to remain (which has not lapsed), you will not need to go through the whole application. You can tick the relevant box and provide the reference number. You should then be automatically issued with settled status at no charge.


How can higher education institutions support those eligible to apply? 

  1. Signposting – make sure that those working at your institution are aware of the pilot. 
  2. Messaging – the scheme is voluntary and workers do not have to apply under it and indeed some would be advised not to. Institutions need to ensure that the correct messaging is therefore sent regarding the pilot. 
  3. Access to advice – the EU Settlement Scheme may not be the answer for all workers eg some may wish to apply for British citizenship as soon as possible in which case the quickest route may not be applying under the scheme. Those who wish to apply for British citizenship now should therefore seek further advice. Similarly, those with complicated circumstances or criminal convictions should seek advice before applying. 
  4. Access to Android phones – the EU Settlement Scheme is designed to be user friendly but it is not yet ‘Apple friendly’. Institutions may wish to make Android phones available to their staff so that they can access the app for the purpose of the ID check as the phone used does not need to be the applicant’s own. For those concerned about data and privacy, the information is not stored on the phone. 


How can Penningtons Manches assist?

The team at Penningtons Manches has been assisting a number of education providers whose workforce includes EU nationals by providing:

  • workshops, seminars and webinars
  • information sheets
  • advice lines
  • assistance with applications 



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