EU nationals have to pay £65 to apply to stay in the country after 31 December 2020, according to a ‘cheery’ video by the Home Office.
The clip says EU citizens and their families need to get ‘status under the scheme’ to continue to ‘live, work and study in the UK as you can now’.
However, if applicants are no accepted after a check of ‘basic principles’, including identity, UK residence and criminality they may face deportation.
EU nationals and remain campaigners have hit out at the video for its ‘cheery’ music over photos of people smiling.
EU citizen Paul O’Connor said: ‘Excellent, all those happy smiling faces willingly paying out hundreds of quid to avoid deportation. So nice.’
Fraser Nelson said: ‘This is just awful. The policy makes sense – of course there will be paperwork to be done and the government is making it easy. ‘But the sinister tone and hint of deportation is unforgivable. Let’s hope this tweet is the last such mistake.’
Craig Smith said: ’24 years served in the military and I have to apply to pay for my Slovakian wife and son to have the right to stay here.
‘Disgusted and angry don’t come close to how I feel. People need to wake up and realise what the UK has become.’
Joe Lycett commented under the video on Twitter and joked: ‘LOVE the music in this vid, is it available for download/stream???’ The fees are £65 if you’re 16 or over, those aged under gets half price at £32.50.
In an overview, the Home Office says: ‘If you’re an EU citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.
‘If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status.’ However, it will be free to apply if you have indefinite leave to remain in or enter the UK and want to change this to settled status.
It will also be free if have a ‘valid UK permanent residence document’, if you’re applying from April 2019 to move from pre-settles status to settles status or if you’re a child in local authority care.
The scheme is currently being tested and will be fully open the day after UK is expected to leave the EU on 30 March.