Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that EU citizens will no longer have to pay a £65 settlement charge to apply to stay within the UK after Brexit.
Under the government's EU Settlement Scheme, EU nationals without a permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain would have had to pay the fee if they want to stay in the UK.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mrs May told MPs: “The next phase of testing of the scheme for EU nationals to confirm their status has launched today.
Having listened to concerns from members, and organisations like the3million group, I can confirm today that when we roll out the scheme in full on March 30, the Government will waive the application fee so that there is no financial barrier for any EU nationals who wish to stay.
“Anyone who has or will apply during the pilot phase will have their fee reimbursed. More details about how this will work will be made available in due course.”
Website and app
A website and app has opened to EU nationals living in the UK with passports and their non-EU family members with biometric residence cards, ahead of a full launch by April.
But the mobile application is currently only available on Android phones enabled with Near Field Communication (NFC) contactless technology.
NFC can read the information stored in a biometric passport chip if the passport is placed next to the phone.
Officials expect they can process around 6,000 applications a day, with about 1,500 caseworkers on the scheme, and a further 400 in a resolution centre to deal with issues.
Applicants are asked to prove their identity, declare any criminal convictions, and upload a facial photograph.
Mrs May also said that the Government would provide more information about negotiations to MPs behind closed doors.
She told MPs: "I know that today Parliament has not felt it has enough visibility of the Government's position as it is being developed and negotiated.
"It has sought documents through humble addresses but that mechanism cannot take into account the fact that some information when made public could weaken the UK's negotiating hand.
"So as the negotiations progress we will also look to deliver confidential committee sessions that can ensure Parliament has the most up-to-date information whilst not undermining the negotiations.
"We will regularly update the House, in particular before the six-monthly review points with the EU foreseen in the agreement."