By Uglobal Staff
The UK has so far received more than 5.6 million applications from EU citizens living and working in the country under the post-Brexit EU Settlement Scheme, which is set to expire in less than a week from now.
According to official UK Home Office figures released earlier this month, the total number of applications received under this scheme as of May 31 are 5.61 million, out of which 5.27 million have been concluded, which means the country’s immigration agency still has hundreds of thousands of applications to process.
Most applications were received in England (more than 5,040,800), followed by Scotland (276,600), Wales (92,700) and Northern Ireland (92,000). Out of the total concluded applications, 52% were successful in getting the coveted ‘settled status’ while 43% got the pre-settled status; around 2%, or some 94,000 applications, were rejected as of May 31, according to UK’s Home Office data.
A big proportion of the applications was received by the following five nationalities: Polish (975,180), Romanian (918,270), Italian (500,550), Portuguese (376,440), Spanish (320,850), according to the Home Office. The highest percentage of successful settled applications was seen in Polish nationals (77%), while the lowest was seen in Croatians (24%) and Romanians (33%).
The UK's Home Office is facing a massive backlog of applications filed by expats from EU countries under its EU Settlement scheme. In its response to a Freedom of Information request made by a member of the public, the Home Office revealed on June 22 that the number of applications submitted under the EU Settlement Scheme that remain yet to be decided as of April 30 was 205,875; out of which 114,600 were those whose “time elapsed since application date” was now between one and three months; for 80,055 other applications it was between three and six months; while for 6,755 applications, it is more than a year.
The last date to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme is June 30 and it is expected that thousands more will submit their applications in the last few days.
THE COVETED SETTLED, PRE-SETTLED STATUS IN THE UK
Those who fail to apply by the June 30 deadline would not be able to get a settled or pre-settled status, which would then jeopardize their right to stay in the UK.
The UK is granting a 'settled status' to only those EU citizens who have lived in the country for at least five years continuously. Others who have been in the UK for a shorter period and have been residing in the country since Dec. 30, 2020, are granted a 'pre-settled status', which allows the eligible EU citizens to first complete the continuous living in the UK for five years requirement before they too become eligible for the 'settled status'.
It's also possible for some Europeans currently not in the UK to get the pre-settled status, provided they had been living in the UK by the Dec. 31, 2020, date. However, they must not have lived abroad for six months or more in a 12-month long period.
The benefits of having a pre-settled or settled status in the UK includes getting the right to work for any company; enrolling at any university or institute you like; traveling in or out of the country as many times you like, access to free healthcare via the NHS as well as getting the right to benefit from public funds like pensions, if one becomes eligible.
Foreigners with a settled status also get the added benefit of being able to live abroad for five years consecutively without any fear that they might lose their residency status. Also, any children born from parents with settled status would automatically get British citizenship.
WHAT HAPPENS TO BRITS IN EU STATES
While the UK requires European expats to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, British nationals who have been living in EU countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta for at least five years before December 2020 would be able to continue to live as permanent residents.
However, those without valid permanent residency documents would have to check with authorities in their host countries to see if their residency remains valid under the various categories of workers' residency rights, students, pensioners, jobseekers etc.
Powered by Froala Editor