Brexit: 4.2 million EU citizens, 1 million more than expected, apply to stay in the UK

Almost a million more EU citizens have applied to stay in the UK after Brexit than expected, as 4.2 million applications were made

  • EU citizens living in the UK have until June 30th next year to apply for settled status
  • The UK's EU comparison system has now submitted more than 4.2 million applications
  • Official estimates had previously indicated that the UK had 3.4 million EU citizens

Almost a million more EU citizens living in the UK have applied for the right to stay in the country after Brexit than originally expected.

The government's EU comparison system has now received more than 4.2 million applications, with the vast majority approved.

An official population snapshot from June 2019 found that 3.4 million EU, EEA and Swiss citizens live in the UK.

Immigration experts have previously criticized the quality of government data related to the EU settlement system.

They argued that it is difficult to know exactly how many European citizens are currently living in the country and therefore it is difficult to determine whether the initiative is working as well as it should.

Under the program, EU citizens in the UK have until June 30th next year to apply for the right to continue to live and work in the country.

Priti Patel's Home Office announced today that the EU settlement system has now received more than 4.2 million applications

Deportations hit a 16-year low due to Covid's travel pain

Forced deportations of foreign nationals from the UK this year have fallen to their lowest level in 16 years, official figures show.

By June, around 5,208 people had been displaced from the UK against their will, a 34 percent decrease from the same period last year.

It was the lowest reported number since records began in 2004.

The Interior Ministry said the decrease was due to a decrease in the number of deportations of people held in detention centers.

"Although the number of forced returns has decreased since 2013, the decline last year was greater due to the few returns in the last quarter (April to June 2020) that occurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic." , it said.

During the same period, there were 8,254 voluntary returns. There were also 13,436 passengers denied entry to UK ports and who subsequently departed. The number was 33 percent lower than in June 2019, and Covid was again accused of cutting international travel.

The latest statistics released by the Interior Ministry show that a total of 4.26 million applications had been received as of October 31 this year.

The total number of applications completed by the same date was just over 4.07 million.

Of these, around 3.9 million applications came from EU citizens living in England, 214,700 from Scotland, 70,800 from Wales and 69,300 from Northern Ireland.

Around 55 percent of the completed applications received the status "Billed" and 42 percent received the status "Billed".

Only 0.6 percent of the applications were rejected – around 22,400.

People are entitled to sedentary status if they lived in the UK before December 31, 2020 and lived there continuously for five years.

Those granted "Billed" status are allowed to stay in the UK for as long as they wish.

Individuals who do not have five consecutive years of residence but lived in the UK before December 31, 2020 are eligible for pre-determined status.

Those who have been granted pre-determined status can stay in the UK for an additional five years and then apply for settled status.

According to an estimate by the Office for National Statistics, 3.4 million EU, EEA and Swiss citizens lived in the UK in June 2019.

An impact assessment by the Ministry of the Interior in March 2019 found an estimate between 3.5 and 4.1 million.

Immigration experts said back in April this year that gaps in government data made it difficult to know if the system was working.

The Oxford University Migration Observatory warned that without "substantial investment in new official data there will be no way to verify" that the system has achieved its goal of helping EU citizens settle in the UK.

The observatory raised concerns that "some people are falling through the cracks in the system" and "it will be very difficult to know how far this has happened" without improved data.


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