EU citizens get 28-day warning to apply to stay in the UK

Photo: AP

UK government announced on Wednesday that immigration enforcement officials will begin giving EU citizens who live in the UK a 28-day warning to apply to remain, British media reported. But the Home Office will allow people indefinite time to complete an application for settled status if they have a reasonable excuse for delay, BBC noted. The deadline for the EU settlement scheme was set for 30 June but Immigration minister Kevin Foster said anyone whose application was not concluded by that date would not lose out, as their rights were protected in law.

He added that immigration enforcement officials would begin issuing 28-day notices to people, advising them to apply for settled status.

Migrants' groups had voiced concern that children would be among those who had not applied. But Foster said there would be an indefinite period where people who had not applied would be allowed to do so, if they had reasonable grounds. He gave the example of students who might discover when applying to university for the first time that they do not have settled status.

Some 5.6 million European Economic Area (EEA) citizens and their dependents have applied for settled status. But there are around 400,000 cases outstanding, and the government's helpline is receiving thousands of calls a day.

After the 2016 Brexit referendum, which took place precisely five years ago, settled status was introduced for citizens of the EU and EEA living in the UK. It allows them to retain the same rights of residence, travel, employment and access to healthcare and benefits.

The countries whose nationals have made the highest numbers of applications are Poland (975,000) and Romania (918,000).

 

More on this subject: Brexit

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