To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Oral contribution of 21 June 2018 by the Minister for Immigration on the EU Settlement Scheme, Official Report, column 508, what provisions he plans to put in place for victims of trafficking and modern slavery to help them prove their residency in order to obtain Settled Status.
25 October 2018
As set out in the Statement of Intent published on 21 June 2018, the EU Settlement Scheme will adopt a flexible approach to evidence of both identity and residence.
The published caseworker guidance includes a broad range of evidence that caseworkers can accept to establish the applicant’s claimed period of residence in the UK. This includes confirmation from another Government department or agency, such as the National Crime Agency which oversees the National Referral Mechanism for victims of trafficking and modern slavery.
The Home Office will also accept alternative evidence of identity and nationality where the applicant is unable to obtain or produce the required document due to circumstances beyond their control or due to compelling practical or compassionate reasons. This could include where passports or national identity cards have been confiscated by organised criminal gangs involved in trafficking.
Furthermore, arrangements are being developed for a range of support to be offered by the Home Office and third parties such as community groups and charities. These include direct support arrangements to assist vulnerable individuals throughout the application process, through tailored telephone advice and support, attendance at one of our assisted digital centres, or where necessary, officials visiting the individual at home.
With regard to application fees, there are currently no plans to waive fees for victims of trafficking and modern slavery, unless the victim is a child in local authority care. The application fee has been set below the cost of a UK passport and applicants have until 30 June 2021 to make the necessary arrangements to enable them to apply.