Virginia, US

Oct 21 2019

‘EU Exit: ID Document Check App’ Available on Apple iPhones

United Kingdom

At a Glance

  • The EU Exit: ID Document Check App is now available to use on Apple iPhone models 8 and above. Software updates on the device may need to be up to date to access it. The app is used to digitally verify identity as part of EU Settlement Scheme applications.
  • The app will make the application process easier for applicants with eligible iPhone devices as they will no longer need to find access to an Android device to verify their identity.
  • Two million applicants have already applied to the EU Settlement Scheme. The release of the app on Apple devices is likely to result in an increase from applicants who have been waiting to apply on their Apple product.
  • Applicants without a biometric passport and family members of EEA, EU or Swiss nationals who do not have a biometric residence card issued under the European regulations will not be able to use the app. These groups will still need to continue to submit physical identity documents either via post or by attending an in-person appointment. 
  • Applicants with iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models will be able to use the app following an upcoming iOS software update, but applicants with older Apple models or iPads will not be able to use their own device. However, they can use another Apple iPhone model 8 and above, or an Android device to access the app as information taken by the app is not stored on the individual device used. We understand that this is a beta test by the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) so the app may become available on other iPhone models in due course though there is no immediate visibility on a timeline from the UKVI.

The situation

The ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ App is now available for use on Apple iPhone models 8 and above. Software updates on the device may need to be up to date to access it. This will allow eligible applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme to verify their identity using the app on an Apple device and avoid the need to send their physical documents to the Home Office.

Impact

  • Increased access for Apple users. Apple users who have the correct biometric documents will no longer need to find access to an Android device in order to submit their application to the EU Settlement Scheme without the need to submit their physical identity document.
  • Applicants unable to use the app. Applicants without a biometric passport and non-European Economic Area (EEA) family members of EEA nationals without a biometric document issued under the European Regulations will not be able to use this app to verify their identity. They will need to continue to submit their physical documents to the Home Office by post or attend an in-person appointment.
  • Earlier iPhone model access. Applicants with iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models will be able to use the app following an upcoming iOS software update, but applicants with older Apple models  or iPads will not be able to use their own device. However, they can use another Apple iPhone model 8 and above, or an Android device to access the app as information taken by the app is not stored on the individual device used. We understand that this is a beta test by the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) so the app may become available on other iPhone models in due course though there is no immediate visibility on a timeline from the UKVI.
  • Increased use of app expected. Two million applicants have already applied to the EU Settlement Scheme. The release of the app on Apple devices is likely to result in an increase from applicants who have been waiting to apply on their Apple product.



Background

Since the EU Settlement Scheme was introduced, the EU Exit: ID Document Check app, which allows applicants to digitally verify their identity and thereby avoid submitting physical documents, has only been available to use on eligible Android devices. The availability of the app on iPhone devices has been long awaited.

Looking ahead

The UK Prime Minister and the European Union have agreed and released the text of a new deal, however uncertainty remains as to whether the deal will be ratified by the UK Parliament.

Fast moving developments are expected over the coming days after Parliament voted on October 19 to delay a vote on the new deal, resulting in the UK Prime Minister sending an unsigned letter to the European Union requesting an extension. The EU is now considering the extension, however if a deal is agreed and ratified by the UK and EU parliaments, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on October 31, 2019 on the terms of the new deal.

In light of the ongoing uncertainty Fragomen’s advice remains that businesses and individuals should continue with contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit on October 31, 2019 unless any agreed deal becomes law. Fragomen will continue to report on updates.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to londoninfo@fragomen.com