Breaking news: Settled status fee for EU citizens scrapped banner


Breaking news: Settled status fee for EU citizens scrapped

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By Oshin Shahiean, managing partner at OTS Solicitors
Finally, some good news for beleaguered EU citizens living in the UK and debating whether to apply for settled status under the EU settlement scheme. The government has scrapped the £65 fee for adults and the reduced settlement scheme fee of £32.50 for children.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May announced that the £65 fee for EU citizens applying for post-Brexit settled status has been scrapped in a speech to Parliament on the 21 January 2019.
Theresa May stated that:
“I can confirm today that when we roll out the scheme in full on 30th March, the government will waive the application fee so that there is no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay. And anyone who has or will apply during the pilot phase will have their fee reimbursed. More details about how this will work will be made available in due course.”
This is good news not just for individual EU citizens but for the many UK employer companies and public bodies who had offered to pay the £65 settlement fee on behalf of their EU national employees to avoid staff retention issues after Brexit and to create staff loyalty by supporting employees and their families to stay in the UK .
There is now no reason to worry about the cost of making an application for settled status under the EU settlement scheme. What is more, the government has said that it will reimburse the £65 fee of those who have already paid the settlement fee.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
At OTS Solicitors, we specialise in Immigration law. The legal directory, Legal 500, recognises our expertise.
We advise individuals and businesses on all aspects of personal and business immigration law. As experts in Immigration law, we can guide you through the application process to apply for settled status and answer any Immigration questions you may have.
Please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help you look at your options.
The settlement scheme fee
At present, it is still uncertain whether applicants will have to pay the £65 fee to apply for settled status until the 30 March and then await a refund or if the government can rush the cancellation of the fee through.
Scrapping of the settlement scheme fee is, however, a major breakthrough for campaigners who argued that EU citizens should not have to pay for the privilege of applying to stay in the UK, in circumstance where they had come to the UK in the expectation that they could exercise treaty rights and live free of Immigration control.
The scrapping of the EU settlement scheme fee is likely to prove a major headache for the Home Office. top London immigration solicitors understand that it costs the government £103 to process each settlement scheme application. That means that even if applicants had paid the £65 settlement scheme fee the government was still out of pocket through the implementation of the EU settlement scheme. However, the government will now have to face the administrative costs of trying to process at least 30,000 settlement scheme fee refunds for all the settled status applicants who have made applications under the settlement scheme since June 2018.
The settlement scheme and Brexit
Many EU citizens and their families have debated if it will be necessary to apply for settled status under the settlement scheme, believing that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit might lead to further changes in policy.
The government has however confirmed that the settlement scheme will continue in operation whether the UK exits the EU with or without a deal in place.
top London immigration solicitors say that the settlement scheme is a massive financial commitment given that it is estimated that the administration of the scheme will cost the UK government about 870 million by the year ending 2022. Without the settlement scheme fees to offset some of that cost that is a massive financial government commitment.
Registering under the settlement scheme
Campaigners who were calling for the scrapping of the £65 settled status fee are now turning their attention to whether it is realistic or feasible for the Home Office to process settlement scheme applications by EU citizens and their families living in the UK within the two-year period.
The the3million campaign group have said that they believe the job of registering up to 3.8 million EU citizens onto the settlement scheme could be insurmountable. They calculate 5,000 applications would need to be dealt with daily to hit targets and estimated numbers of EU citizens in the UK.
New settlement scheme third test phase
The best London immigration solicitors advise that the Home Office has launched a third test phase for the EU settlement scheme. The further test phase has been put in place as applicants were experiencing technical problems when applying for settled status.
Many employers have offered help with paperwork to encourage EU workers to make early applications to the settlement scheme to avoid last minute issues or staff disruption.
Why make a settled status application?
Even though the government has scrapped the £65 settlement scheme fee, some EU citizens will still question whether they need to apply for settled status. The top London immigration solicitors advise that settled status gives EU citizens:
• The right to live and work in the UK without the impositions of Immigration control; and
• The continuation of current legal entitlements to study in the UK and receive healthcare and benefits in the UK; and
• Close family members living overseas will be able to enter the UK to live with EU citizens in the future provided that the relationship began before the end of the transitional period, the 31 December 2020, and the close family member is still in the relationship with the settled status EU citizen when they apply to enter the UK .
The latest settlement scheme news and waiver of fees is good news for EU citizens but with a note of caution that the Home Office, the best London immigration solicitors and, of course EU citizens and their families, will need to be organised to ensure that all EU citizens are registered under the settlement scheme by the deadline.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
At OTS Solicitors, we provide bespoke Immigration advice, carefully considering individual family circumstances, to give you the best London Immigration law advice.
OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration law matters. The legal directory, Legal 500, recommend OTS Solicitors for Immigration law.
OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.
For more information and advice on applying for settled status under the Settlement Scheme or any other aspect of personal or business immigration law, please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.

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