EU Settlement Scheme pilot invitation

If you’re an EU citizen or a non-EU family member of an EU citizen, you can now register to take part in the EU Settlement Scheme pilot.

By taking part, you’ll be able to make an early application for your new UK immigration status so you can continue to live and work in the UK after we leave the EU, at the end of the planned implementation period on 31 December 2020.

Your participation in the pilot will give the Home Office an opportunity to test the application process and successful applicants won’t need to apply again for the same status once the scheme opens fully next year. 

Making an application during this pilot phase is entirely voluntary and there will be no change to your current rights under EU law until the end of the planned implementation period. If you decide not to apply now, you’ll be able to do so when the scheme is fully open, by 30 March 2019, and at any time up until 30 June 2021, in line with the Draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

You’ll only be able to take part in the pilot if you are working in higher education in the UK, and you’re:

  • an EU citizen with a valid biometric passport (this is an e-passport, which has a digital chip)
  • a non-EU family member of an EU citizen with a biometric residence card with ‘EU Right to Reside’ on the back, which you applied for on or after 6 April 2015.

You’ll also need access to an Android smartphone or tablet to verify your identity. This doesn’t have to be your own, as no data will be stored on the device.

What you need to do

If you’d like to take part in the pilot, please send a blank email from your own email account to

The Home Office will reply to emails on a phased basis, so it might take two to three weeks for you to receive a response. Please only send one email and make sure you check your inbox and junk mail regularly.

When you receive a reply, it’ll contain a link to the online application form that you’ll need to complete before 22 December 2018.

If you’re an Irish citizen, you have a right of residence in the UK that’s not reliant on the UK’s membership of the EU, so you don’t need to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme, but you may do so if you wish.

Application process during the pilot

To apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll need to complete an online application, which has four sections.

1. Verify your identity – You’ll need to have a valid biometric passport or biometric residence card (issued by the Home Office). All applicants must download and use the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app to verify their identity. This is currently only available to download on Android devices. An easy way to check if your device can use this app is if it has the technology to make contactless payments. Information on how to access the app will be included in the application process.

After using the app to verify your identity, you can complete the rest of the application either on that device or on any smartphone, laptop or computer. If you can’t access this app during the pilot, there’ll be alternative ways for you to verify your identity once the scheme opens fully next year.

2. Criminality check – You’ll need to complete the check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application. This shouldn’t affect the vast majority of EU citizens and their family members.

3. Verify your residence in the UK – There are a number of ways you can do this. The easiest way is to provide your National Insurance number. The Home Office will then check UK tax and certain benefits data and use those records to help work out how long you have been resident in the UK. You’ll get a result of this check straight away. If you agree with the result, you can accept it and complete your application. If you disagree, this isn’t a problem, as you’ll be able to upload additional evidence of your residence. Information on the other types of evidence you can upload can be found on GOV.UK. Alternatively, if you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain, you’ll just need to provide proof of that status.

4. Pay the application fee – An application costs £65 for those aged 16 or over, but it is free if you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain. 

If you’re a University employee you can reclaim the £65 fee via e-expenses, by logging in with your normal username and password. The details and conditions of the reimbursement scheme, and step by step guidance for completing a claim, are available in the Immigration Reimbursement Guidance document.

If anything is unclear, please speak to your manager or your Human Resources hub

Information event for University colleagues

To find out more about the pilot and the scheme in general, join our colleague event hosted by Emma Brooksbank, Partner and Immigration Specialist at Freeths Solicitors, at 10am on Monday 19 November. The session will have room for discussion and there will be ample time at the end for questions.

This event has now passed, a recording of the session is now available to watch.


For any questions about an application made during the pilot, contact the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre by calling 0300 123 7379 (inside the UK) or +44 (0) 203 080 0010 (outside the UK), click here to find out about call charges. You can also ask a question using the online submissions form.

An assisted digital service is available for those who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to complete the online application form. If you require such support with your application, please contact We Are Digital by calling 0333 344 5675 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Further information on this service can be found on GOV.UK once the pilot goes live.

Visit GOV.UK for further information about the EU Settlement Scheme.

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