EU citizens can finally complete their settled status application using an iPhone, with a version of the government’s document check app now available via Apple’s app store.
A beta version of the app – which is still considered as being in test mode – is now publicly available for download on all models from the iPhone 8 onwards. Pending a software update, the app will also be available for iPhone 7 users in due course.
In addition to these hardware requirements, devices must also run on iOS 13.1 or a later version. A connection to 3G, 4G or WiFi is also needed, as well as at least 120MB of free space and access to the iPhone’s camera must be enabled.
The lack of an iPhone version of the app has been a bone of contention for EU nationals and campaign groups after it first emerged 18 months ago that the program would not work on Apple devices.
This was due to the vendor’s previous policy of not allowing third parties to access the near-field communication capability of its devices; NFC is the technology behind contactless payments and smart cards, and is required by the document check app to scan the identity chip embedded in passports.
In June, at its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced that it would be allowing external developers to write applications to interact with the iPhone’s NFC. Shortly afterwards, the Home Office confirmed that it had begun testing an Apple version of the document check app.
Although testing will continue, the app is now publicly available on the Apple App store.