The statement of intent sets out the detail of how that registration system should operate, although some details are still to be finalised:
- The application will be primarily online and will make use of a smart phone app.
- The application process will involve 3 questions:
- What is your nationality?;
- How long have you lived in the UK?; and
- Do you have any criminal convictions?
- Applicants will scan their passport into the app and upload a photo of themselves so they will not need to send further documents to the Home Office, in most cases.
- The Home Office will carry out checks with other Government departments and their default position will be to grant applications.
- Any additional information required will be requested through the app.
- Applications will cost £65 for adults and £32.50 for children.
- People who have lived in the UK for 5 years will receive settled status, those who have lived in the UK for less time will receive pre-settled status and be able to switch status in the future without paying an additional fee.
The good news is that the Home Office will only be looking at the question of physical residence, so many people who do not qualify for permanent residence under the current rules will be able to benefit.
As some details are still to be finalised, a number of our clients are unsure whether to apply under the current rules or wait for the new application route to open later this year. Every case is different and what is right for you will depend on your circumstances but:
- Anyone who has lived in the UK for 6 years and wants to become a British citizen should consider applying for Permanent Residence now (if they qualify). This will allow them to apply for citizenship in the near future, rather than waiting for their new settled status to be granted.
- Anyone who doesn't want to become a dual national, or hasn't completed their 5 years residence, may want to wait for the new application route to open. However, there are still benefits to registering now in some cases.
- Those with very complicated cases may wish to consider waiting for the simplified route.
If you would like to discuss what is the best option for you, please get in touch.