EU Settlement Scheme claims goes over 5 million as ‘time is running out’ for Europeans

EU: British expats ‘suffering’ over visa backlog says expert

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EU citizens can apply for the settled or pre-settled status in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), which will allow them to live and work in the UK beyond June. Should an applicant be granted either of these statuses, they’ll then be able to access various state benefits, pensions and NHS services.

Yesterday, the Home Office released quarterly statistics for the scheme covering the period between August 28 2018 to March 31 2021.

The following key points were highlighted:

  • As of March 31 2021, just over 5.3 million (5,301,470) applications had been received, with 90 percent received in England, five percent in Scotland, two percent in Wales and two percent in Northern Ireland. Since the launch of the scheme, October 2019 saw the highest number of applications received (591,580) and the highest number of concluded applications (401,480).
  • Across all nationalities, the highest numbers of applications received were from Polish, Romanian and Italian nationals. Polish and Romanian nationals were consistently among the highest application numbers within England, Scotland and Wales. For Northern Ireland, however, Polish and Lithuanian nationals accounted for the largest number of applications.
  • There were 787,680 applications received from people under 18 years of age, 4.4 million (4,391,060) applications from those aged 18 to 64 and 122,720 applications from those aged 65 and above (15 percent, 83 percent and two percent, respectively). Northern Ireland had a noticeably higher proportion (19 percent) of applications from people under 18 compared to the rest of the UK (15 percent for each nation).

The next set of quarterly statistics will be released in August 2021, following the June deadline.

Kevin Foster, the Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, commented on these latest figures.

He said: “Time is running out for those eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme to apply by the deadline of June 30 2021, but a range of support is available for the most vulnerable or those that require extra support, so don’t delay in reaching out for help.

“Once you’ve applied you will be joining the millions who have secured, in UK law, the status needed to continue living and working here.

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“I’m proud that since the EUSS launched in March 2019, more than 5.4 million applications have been made to the scheme and there have already been over 4.9 million grants of status.

“Today’s published statistics reveal the breadth of profiles and geographical spread of applicants so far from across the whole country.”

Those who still need to apply will usually need to have lived in the UK by December 21 2020.

When applying, claimants will need proof of their identity and their residence in the UK, unless they have a valid permanent residence document, or valid indefinite leave to remain in or enter the UK.

Except “in a few cases”, people will need to apply for this scheme if they’re an EU EEA or Swiss citizen or, they’re not but have a family member who is.

The EEA includes EU countries along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The Home Office detailed people will need to apply even if they:

  • Were born in the UK but are not a British citizen
  • Have a UK “permanent residence document”
  • Are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who does not need to apply – including if they’re from Ireland
  • Are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a British citizen family member

Following an application, letters will be emailed to applicants confirming they’re settled or pre-settled status.

Should a claim be unsuccessful, claimants will be able to apply again at any time up until the June 30 deadline.

Additional information or evidence can be submitted following initial attempts.

Full details on the EU Settlement Scheme and its application rules can be found on the Government’s website.

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