Editorial

Home Office says over 3.1m applications now completed through the EU Settlement Scheme

“The EUSS is a very successful, scalable proof-point of what’s possible and achievable with the right end-to-end processes, technology and collaborative team”

Posted 7 May 2020 by Gary Flood


The UK’s EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), which is reckoned to be the world’s largest digital on-boarding immigration programme using remote Identity verification with ePassport chip reading and liveness detection, has now passed a significant milestone.

Specifically, over 3.1 million applications are said to have completed, with the vast majority using the digital route (the data comes from the Home Office’s own data) – and that’s out of an estimated 3.5m total target group, and in a year (the service launched in May 2019 and the data being released is March 2020 information).

In other findings:

  • A high percentage completed their application in under 10 minutes, with a claimed “high level” of Identity assurance
  • This was the first iOS app in production to read ICAO MRTD compliant chips via Near Field Communication (NFC) at large scale on iPhone 7 and above
  • Over 2,300 different makes and models of Android and iOS devices have been used to complete the identity verification process
  • There were peaks of 25,000-30,000 applications per day
  • IDV System Availability since the start of live production is 99.97%, exceeding SLA commitments
  • 79% of applicants indicated that proving their identity through the app was either “very easy” or “fairly easy”, while a further 7% found it neither difficult nor easy
  • The app receives an average 4.1 star satisfaction rating on Google Play Store.  

EUSS was established by the Home Office to allow EEA nationals living in the UK to apply for a UK immigration status, with applicants having to complete three key steps: prove their Identity, show that they live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions.

With Theresa May’s government wanting to make the application process as easy as possible, with an optional, end-to-end digital application channel, it awarded the contract to Canadian ID firm WorldReach’s Know Your Traveller platform and its IdentityReach solution.

How that works: WorldReach’s software is able to read the ePassport chip’s security features to authenticate the legitimacy of the document, while facial matching is achieved by comparing the secure reference image from the ePassport chip to a live selfie captured by smartphone camera, and genuine presence technology is applied to mitigate attempts at ID fraud.

This service supports multiple eIDs including ePassports, UK biometric residence cards and EU citizen eID cards, all using ICAO standards.

“There has never been a more crucial time for highly trusted, proven-in-use remote identity verification services given the COVID-19 situation, especially for government digital on-boarding and essential services delivery,” said Gordon Wilson, WorldReach CEO.

“The EUSS is a very successful, scalable proof-point of what’s possible and achievable with the right end-to-end processes, technology and collaborative team.” 

With customers that include not just the UK government but also those of the Netherlands, Ireland, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands, WorldReach Software enables highly trusted digital services through its systems for government immigration, passport, border management, consular and citizen services organisations.