UK home secretary Sajid Javid has stated that the government is looking to grant, not refuse, settled status to EU citizens after Brexit, with three “simple” questions to be answered online: proving their ID, disclosing any criminal convictions, and whether they live in the UK.
The scheme will start trialling within a few weeks, and will operate online and via an app.
Applications will £65 for adults and £32.50 for children – or free for those who’ve already applied for indefinite leave to remain – and decisions will be given “very quickly”, within at most two weeks, after research on government databases.
Applications will be compulsory for all 3.3 million EU citizens living in the UK plus citizens of Switzerland, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway, unless they have been in the UK for five years by the end of 2020 in which case they can go on living and working in the UK indefinitely.
There are about 900,000 UK citizens living in the EU, and it would be down to individual countries to decide what to do about their status.