Physical proof of status should be offered to EU citizens

Date published: 20 December 2021

Devolved governments call for additional safeguard.


The governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are calling on the UK Government to offer EU citizens physical proof of their settled or pre-settled status.

Currently, EU citizens who have secured settled or pre-settled status have no physical documentation to prove that they have the right to reside in the UK and this has been causing problems for citizens’ employment and access to services

A joint letter from Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland ministers voices their continued collective concern over the Home Office offer of a digital-only platform for proof.

This letter to Kevin Foster, UK Minister for Safe and Legal Migration, has been signed by Minister for Europe Jenny Gilruth, Wales’ Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt, Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.

It states that Ministers are extremely concerned that digital-only proof of status for EUSS applicants indirectly discriminates against a range of vulnerable citizens who could struggle to access their status.

The letter urges the UK Government to instigate instead a dual system, removing barriers to access whilst also providing the convenience of a digital system to those who are able to navigate it. 

The letter concludes: “We again urge you to provide EU citizens making their home here with the option to request physical proof of their status and so end this exclusionary approach.”

Notes to editors: 

1.  The full text of the letter can be read here:

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