The pub sector has raised concerns about the situation of EU workers. But the good news is that the Government this week has published its settlement scheme to help EU citizens living in the UK and their family members obtain new UK immigration status.
Immigration minister Caroline Nokes said: “EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and to our society. They are our friends, family and colleagues and we want them to stay.
“This is an important step that will make it easy for EU citizens to get the status they need to continue working and living here.”
1. What can licensees do?
Trade association UKHospitality has advised licensees to help themselves and their prospective or existing EU employees by giving them clear information about whether they can apply for settled status, and the implications on their future employment thereof.
A spokesman said: “UKHospitality has distributed information to its members to make them aware of their obligations when looking to employ prospective employees.
“There are online resources available for employers to check whether employees or prospective employees documents are legitimate. Businesses should take full advantage of them to ensure they have carried out the relevant due diligence when employing new workers.”
For more information visit the UKHospitality website.
2. Who is eligible?
The employees or prospective employees will need to be an EU citizen, or a family member of an EU citizen who has been living in the UK continuously for five years. They would need to have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.
3. What are the requirements that EU residents will need to meet?
- Prove their identity.
- Show that that they live in the UK – the Home Office will check the employment and benefit records held by Government, which will mean that, for many, their proof of residence will be automatic.
- Declare that they have no serious criminal convictions.
4. When can EU residents apply?
The settlement scheme will open in a phased way from later this year and will be fully open by 30 March 2019.
5. What if they have not lived in the UK for five years?
Those who have not yet lived in the UK for five years will be granted pre-settled status and be able to apply for settled status once they reach the five-year point.
6. Is there an application fee?
It is proposed that an application will cost £65 and £32.50 for a child aged under 16. For those who already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, they will be able to exchange it for settled status for free.
From April 2019, this second application will be free of charge.
7. How do you apply?
There is a new online application system that will be accessible through phones, tablets, laptops and computers. The Government will provide support for the vulnerable and those without access to a computer.
8. What is the deadline?
The deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021.