Immigration: EU Nationals

Home Office written question – answered on 14th May 2019.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to investigate the low take up of the private beta testing phase of the EU Settlement Scheme.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

The total number of applications received since the testing of the scheme began on 28 August 2018 is now over 600,000, and we received over 50,000 applications in the first weekend the scheme was fully live.

In total, over 230,000 people applied during the three testing phases of the EU Settlement Scheme. Over 31,000 of these people applied during the two private beta testing phases and we do not consider that this was a low turnout or that it needs investigating. It was not our intention to process high volumes during these phases, which were implemented gradually to bring the systems up to scale in a controlled way. This gave us a valuable evidence base from which to assess the application process and allowed for incremental improvements to be made in response to applicant feedback

We have been clear that applying during the testing phases was voluntary and EU citizens will have until 30 June 2021 to apply, in line with the draft Withdrawal Agreement, or until 31 December 2020 in the event of no deal.

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