Here's how settled status is expected to work after Brexit, according to the government

Catherine Neilan
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EU Referendum - Signage And Symbols
Applications will cost "no more" than a British passport (Source: Getty)

The government has sought to reassure the three million EU citizens currently living in the UK by publishing a range of details for how the new "settled status" will work after Brexit - including guarantees they will not be finger-printed.

The Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU) - which is currently fending off criticism for refusing to publish the sectoral analyses - has published details of a technical document sent to the European Commission as part of Brexit talks, setting out "how the new system will be streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly".

The document commits to a two-year grace period for citizens to make an application for settled status; to keeping the cost of an application to "no more" than that of a British passport; to introducing a "digital, streamlined and user-friendly application system"; and pledges to minimise evidence required on minor issues. 

It also gives EU citizens a statutory right of appeal, and commits to making decisions "solely on the criteria set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, with no discretion for other reasons for refusal".

EU citizens will not be required to have held comprehensive sickness insurance or to provide fingerprints, the document adds.

"We expect the majority of cases to be granted," the government said. 

Brexit secretary David Davis added: "Safeguarding the rights of EU citizens is our top priority in negotiations. They make a huge contribution to our economy and society and we do not want to see that change as a result of our decision to leave the EU.

“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 hope 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."

Home secretary Amber Rudd added: “EU citizens living in the UK make an enormous contribution to our country and we want them to stay... 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.”

Applicants will be asked to declare any criminal convictions and be checked against UK security databases.

"This is a reasonable measure to keep the country safe from those who have committed serious crimes," the government said.

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