Brexit has brought with it many challenges for businesses looking for good quality staff, but there is perhaps a glimmer certainty now that EU Settlement Scheme is now fully open, with more than 600,000 EU citizens have applied to stay in the UK.

The programme is open to all EU citizens and their families as well as citizens from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021. However, if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, that will brought forward to 31 December 2020.

A numbers game

The Government says there are between 3.5 million and 4.1 million European Economic Area (EEA) citizens eligible to apply. With fears that there will be shortage of labour supply following Brexit, it should be noted that these people will become vital to the growth of the UK economy. We would urge businesses who employ citizens from these countries to ensure as many as possible apply for the EU Settlement Scheme and also ask friends and family to do the same.

Who is eligible?

To take part in the scheme an EU citizen must have stayed in the UK for a full 24 hours. If the UK government manages to secure an exit deal with the EU, then this is one day before 31 December 2020. However, In the event of a no deal, then it will be one day before 31 October 2019. EU citizens will then be eligible for pre-settled status after one day and settled status after five years.

Already the scheme has been incredibly popular, with reports that the online system for applications crashed after being overloaded. However, any gremlins appear to have been ironed out and the Home Office is reporting that the system is “working well” with turnaround times of between three days and two weeks – depending on how complex the application might be.

Need more help?

The Government has issued a wide of range of advice documents on its website. One particularly useful page outlines how your employees can use the EU Exit ID Document Check App. Below is a short video which is a handy visual guide.

Frontline Recruitment is full-geared up to help your business run smootly once the UK leaves the EU. If you have any questions or concerns, please do get in touch.