The app is part of the government’s drive to get an estimated number of 3.5mn EU citizens to apply for a “settled status” but the the app isn’t working fully on Apple devices.
By answering some questions and taking a selfie, a citizen will be checked against Home Office Records. With an Android phone, they can even scan the chip on their passport for ID verification. Based on this information, the Home Office can make a decision on the citizens to be able to stay in the UK within two weeks.
BBC News has reported that Apple users will not be able to scan their passports, and would likely have to borrow an Android phone or post the passport to the Uk Visa and Immigration Service instead – this will likely cause delays.
Apparently, the Home Office officials knew there would be a problem with Apple devices when the app was announced early this year, and are continuing to engage with Apple officials to sort out the issue. Hopefully, there will be an OS update that will allow users to scan their passports with ease.
According to BBC, the US tech giant has declined to do so, despite representations from UK government ministers, including a trip to the firm’s Silicon Valley HQ by Home Secretary Sajid Javid. Apple devices have been fitted with Near Field Communication chips, as they are known, since 2014 but the company has mostly limited use of the chip to Apple Pay transactions, for security and commercial reasons.
Android phones make up arond 50% of market share, while Blackberry and Microsoft makes up for 10% of the UK smartphone market.