Friday, May 28, 2021

5.4 Million Applications Filed for UK’s EU Settlement Scheme Three Months Ahead of the Deadline

Three months ahead of the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme, the United Kingdom Home Office has counted a total of 5,301,470 applications from the European Union and Schengen Area citizens who wish to continue living in the UK, though the latter is no longer an EU member.

Reporting the number of applications received until March 31, 2021, since August 28, 2018, when the scheme was opened for applications, the Home Office also revealed detailed statistics on the nationality and age of applications, the number of applications received by each UK country, and more.

Commenting on the number of applications received so far, the British Minister for Future Borders and Immigration called on EU citizens living in the UK, who haven’t applied for the scheme yet, to apply as soon as possible, reminding the latter that the deadline to apply is June 30, 2021.

“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,” the Minister said while also noting that there is a range of support available for the most vulnerable or those that require extra help in order to apply.

The Minister also showed his pride with the number of applications filed and processed until the end of March this year.

“I’m proud 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,” he said.

UK’s EU Settlement pilot was launched in March 2018, and later in August of the same year, the scheme opened up for applications from all EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK, and their family members, wishing to continue living in the UK.

In January this year, reported that up to December 31, 2020, about 4.9 million persons filed an application for the Scheme.

Within three months, the number of applications increased by almost half a million, the majority of which were filed in England.

Poles & Romanians Account for Almost 2 Million of Settlement Applications

Citizens of the EU countries filed a total of 4,910,690 applications for the EU Settlement Scheme until the end of March this year, while 50,060 were received from other EEA and Swiss nationals and 340,650 received from non-EEA nationals.

Almost 1.9 million of the total number of applications received so far for the EU Settlement Scheme have been filed by Polish and Romanian nationals, 975,180 and 918,270, respectively.

Italians with 500,550 applications, the Portuguese with 376,440, and then Spaniards with 320,850 applications make up the three other national groups with the highest number of applications.

These five nationalities combined represent around 58 per cent of the total number of applications received.

90% of Applications Filed in England

Just as the previous statistics have shown, even with only three months left until the EU Settlement Scheme is closed for applications, the majority of the latter have been filed in England, or 90 per cent out of the total.

Scotland, on the other hand, received five per cent of the applications and Wales and Northern Ireland received two per cent of applications each.

Regarding the UK country where these nationalities filed the highest number of applications, Polish and Romanian nationals were consistently the national groups with the highest application numbers within England, Scotland and Wales.

For Northern Ireland, however, Polish and Lithuanian nationals accounted for the largest number of applications,” the report reads.

As per the age of applicants, people under the age of 18 filed a total of 787,680 applications, while those aged 65 and more filed 122,720 applications. The rest, about 4.4 million applications, were filed by people between the age of 18 and 65.

Almost 56k Rejected Applications & Over 300k Repeated Applications

Since the launch of the scheme, up until March 31, 2021, a period of almost three years, 4,977,740 applications have been concluded out of the total 5,301,470 applications.

The decisions have been as follows:

  • 53 per cent were granted settled status (2,623,720)
  • 44 per cent were granted pre-settled status (2,173,270)
  • 3 per cent had other outcomes, including:
    • 55,950 refused applications
    • 60,170 withdrawn or void applications
    • 64,580 invalid applications

Data shows that concluded outcomes granted settled status were higher for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland (61 per cent, 58 per cent, 56 per cent, respectively), compared to England (53 per cent).

The number of repeated applications is almost six times higher than the number of rejected applications, with a total of six per cent of applications rejected, or 311,870.

93 per cent of repeat applicants have received a grant of status (Settled or Pre-settled Status). 47 per cent of repeat applicants have moved from Pre-settled to Settled status,” the report shows.

Taking into account the rejected applications, 4,963,560 people had applied to the scheme up to March 31, 2021

Thousands of EU Citizens Living in UK May Face Deportation After June 30 previously reported that many are concerned about what will happen with EU citizens resident in the UK, who fail to apply and the possibility for these people to be deported from the UK.

Despite the assurance that European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt received in the past from British ministers that no EU citizens without settled status in the UK would be automatically deported, in February, campaigners on the rights of EU citizens in the UK have warned of a possible “Windrush-plus” scenario in the future.

The Windrush scandal is the deportation of many UK residents who were children of Commonwealth citizens. They had lived and worked in the UK for decades, but they still were deported due to a lack of official paperwork.

Moreover, in September 2020, a group of British MPs had sent a letter to PM Boris Johnson expressing their concerns on the possibility that tens of thousands of EU citizens resident in the UK – including some of the COVID-19 frontline workers could be facing deportation as they “had fallen through the cracks of the government’s post-Brexit settled status scheme.”

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