The British government has outlined how EU expats in the UK can apply for settled status after Brexit.
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The promise is expats will not have their applications rejected on minor technicalities and caseworkers will grant leave to stay to most who want to stay.
The deal includes a statutory right to appeal any refusal.
How the system is expected to work is outlined in a technical document sent to the European Commission as part of Brexit talks.
The government claims the proposal is cheap, effective and easy to use.
Straightforward online application
“The Prime Minister has been clear that safeguarding the rights of EU citizens is our top priority in our negotiations. They make a huge contribution to our economy and society and we do not want to see that change because of our decision to leave the EU,” said Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis
“We will support everyone wishing to stay to gain settled status through a new straightforward, streamlined system.
“The last negotiation round saw real progress in this area and I believe the document we have published today can facilitate the deal we need to guarantee the rights of UK citizens living in the EU27, and vice versa.”
The document promises not to make expats in the UK take out expensive medical insurance, not to build a fingerprint database.
Expats must declare serious crime convictions
Expats will have to declare any criminal convictions, with the information checked against security records in the UK and EU. The measure is designed to identifying expats who have failed to declare serious criminal convictions.
Anyone already in the UK will have two years after Brexit to apply for settled status, but need do nothing now.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “I have been clear that EU citizens living in the UK make an enormous contribution to our country and we want them to stay.
“Applying for settled status will be a streamlined, low-cost, digital process and EU citizens are being consulted on its design to ensure it is user-friendly.
“We know that there is some anxiety among EU citizens about how the process of applying for settled status will work so I hope this document provides some further reassurance.”
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