Roll out of online application process for EEA nationals

5 October 2016

Following the conclusion of the pilot to trial online applications for EEA nationals wishing to apply to register their status or apply for Permanent Residence, the online application process has now been rolled out nationally as of 1 October 2016. 

Below you will find further information about the online application process for EEA nationals as well as updates on a new passport return service; an EU parliament proposal for a Europe wide ESTA scheme for non EEA nationals; and an update on police registration requirements for some migrants.

Roll out of online application process for EEA nationals

The online process for EEA nationals will be available for single applicants only at this stage, with the roll out for family members planned for the next phase of the digital programme. Also, students and those EEA nationals who are self-sufficient cannot use the online form if they are either:

  • Reliant on a family member to provide their income; or
  • Are financially responsible for other family members.

Passport return service

Simultaneously, the Home Office has also linked up with a number of Local Authorities who will provide a passport return service for these online applicants. This will be of benefit to those applicants who are not able to submit a valid national ID card instead of their passport, to enable them to continue to travel whilst their application is being processed. If an applicant does not have a valid national ID card and needs to retain their passport during the application process, they can apply to a participating Local Authority to submit their passport for checking and immediate return to the applicant.

This service is available by appointment only and the applicant must attend within five days of submitting the online application, please click here for a list of participating Local Authorities in the Greater London area (updated as per 25/01/2017).

Proposal for a Europe wide ESTA scheme for non EEA nationals

The EU parliament is proposing to introduce an EU Entry/Exit System (EES), similar to the ESTA scheme in place for visitors to the US. The EES scheme will cover border crossings by all non-EEA nationals visiting the European Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days. However, unlike the ESTA scheme, it will apply to both visa national and non-visa nationals. At the present time, only visa nationals need to apply for a visa to visit countries within the Schengen area. As with the ESTA scheme, there will be collection of biometric data via fingerprinting and facial scans.

The new EES scheme has been piloted and agreement must now be secured from all EU member countries in order to implement it. Further information will be provided once this becomes available.

Update on police registration requirements

The Home Office has recently published an update on the police registration requirement which is mandatory for some migrants. As a result of changes made earlier this year, the police registration condition no longer appears on the Biometric Residence Permits (BRP) issued to migrants coming to the UK. Instead they will have noticed that the police registration condition appears as an endorsement on the 30 day entry clearance vignette issued to enable travel to the UK. This needs to be shown to the police when registering, within seven days of arrival in the UK, together with the letter confirming that their application for leave was successful.

Those applying for leave to remain and who are already in the UK will be personally notified if they are required to register with the police by way of the Home Office letter confirming that their application for leave has been successful. They must show this letter when registering.

Information on registering with the police, including the documents required, is available here.

If, after they have arrived in the UK it appears that the migrant’s entry clearance (visa) vignette has been issued with an incorrect endorsement, they can request to have it amended by visiting for information on what to do.

Further information

Should you have any questions about the issues raised in this blog post please contact a member of our immigration team.

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Individuals who have been living in the UK for several years often choose to apply for British citizenship. We can assist you to prepare the application, liaise with the Home Office and facilitate the process.

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