Settled status: What level of take-up can we expect?

As the UK prepares to leave the EU The government is aiming for everyone who is eligible for it to secure settled status and we welcome this ambition. But the stakes are high. If just 5% of the estimated 3.5m EU citizens living in the UK do not register by the deadline, 175,000 people would be left without status.

A  registration scheme like this has never been run in Britain. But in other countries around the world similar things have been attempted. While there are no directly comparable examples, we should seek to learn what we can from past experiences.

This report reviews a range of schemes (both in the immigration field and in other areas of policy), looking at the level of coverage achieved, how take-up was encouraged and any lessons we can learn.

It finds that many successful similar schemes took several attempts (even if they were initially intended as being one-off), involving a learning process over several years as well as a significant resource commitment. Successful  schemes tend to have three phases:

  1. a comprehensive preparatory phase with coordination of all stakeholders, rigorous planning and agreement over the scope of the scheme;
  2. an implementation phase by officials with the help of community groups, employers and NGOs; and
  3. a post-regulation phase to determine the size of the undocumented population and the integration of those who registered.

This report is publish by NPC as part of our role in the Transition Advice Fund