The first applications from EU nationals wishing to stay in the UK post-Brexit will be submitted on Tuesday.
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People working or studying at 12 NHS trusts in north-west England, and students and staff from three Liverpool universities, will be invited to make applications for "settled status" as part of a pilot scheme.
The "managed live trial" will involve up to 4,000 people and will allow officials working on the scheme to test the system using real applicants and make improvements ahead of a phased roll-out towards the end of this year.
Those taking part will have to attend an appointment with a Home Office representative who will help take them through the application process, but eventually people will be able to make applications online.
Under the EU Settlement Scheme, EU citizens and family members who have been in the UK for five years by the end of 2020 will be able to apply for settled status, meaning they are free to go on living and working in the UK indefinitely.
Those who have arrived by December 31 2020, but do not have five years' residence, can seek to stay until they have, at which point they can seek settled status.
Applications will cost £65 for adults and £32.50 for children under the age of 16.
Applicants will be asked to prove their identity, declare any criminal convictions and upload a facial photograph.
The Home Office will check employment and benefits data to confirm proof of residence, while all applications will be run through UK criminality and security databases.