EU citizens will have to answer three “simple” questions online if they want to continue living in the UK after Brexit, the home secretary has said.
Sajid Javid said the government’s “default” position would be to grant, not refuse, settled status.
People will be asked to prove their ID, whether they have criminal convictions and whether they live in the UK.
Their answers will be checked against government databases and a decision given “very quickly”, said Mr Javid.
The scheme will operate online and via a smartphone app, Mr Javid said, and would be “as simple as people can reasonably expect”, with most decisions turned around within two weeks or sooner.
Speaking to a House of Lords committee, Mr Javid said there would have to be “a very good reason” why an application would be refused.
The Home Office said the criminal record checks would be about “serious and persistent criminality, not parking fines”.
How much will it cost?
Applications will cost £65 for adults and £32.50 for children and be free for EU nationals who already have residency or indefinite leave to remain.
Applicants will be asked to provide their biographical information, declare whether they have any criminal records, and upload a facial photograph.
The process requires verification of the applicant’s identity and nationality using a passport, ID card or other valid document, which can be done using a smartphone app or through secure post.
When will the scheme start?
The government hopes to start trials within a few weeks, with people allowed to start registering in the autumn.
Mr Javid told the Lords EU Justice sub-committee he wanted it to be fully operational by the “start of next year”, adding that he wanted to avoid a “surge” of applicants when the UK leaves the EU in March.
The scheme would run for at least two years after Brexit day, probably to around June 2021, said the home secretary.