5.5 million applied to stay in UK before EU Settlement Scheme cut-off date

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More than 5.5 million people had applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by the deadline, according to official estimates.

Of the 5,548,440 who submitted an application, more than 4.9 million (4,908,760) have been allowed to continue living and working in the UK after freedom of movement ended following the Brexit transition period.

EU citizens and their families were asked to apply to the Home Office by the end of June to obtain an immigration status so they could remain in the country.

The Government department’s latest quarterly figures to June 30, published on Thursday, provide the clearest picture to date of how many people applied to the scheme before the cut-off date, as opposed to how many applications had been received.

But the data is listed as “experimental”, meaning the numbers are still being evaluated and may be updated in future.

More than six million applications (6,050,860) were submitted between the launch of the scheme in March 2019 and the closing date of June 30 2021.

Some 2.8 million were granted settled status, allowing them permanent leave to remain (2,846,820).

A further 2.3 million (2,327,850) were granted pre-settled status, meaning they need to reapply after living in the country for five years to gain permanent residence.

There were 109,430 applications refused, 80,600 withdrawn or void, and 79,730 were deemed invalid, where the Home Office decides someone is not eligible to apply or has failed to provide sufficient proof of residence.

The Home Office said 8% of the applications were from “repeat applicants” (472,220).

Among the applications were more than one million from children (1,002,280).

Some 772,260 of the applications from under 18s finalised by the end of June were granted an immigration status while 32,870 requests were refused, withdrawn, void or invalid, the figures indicate.

The Home Office bulletin also said: “Across all nationalities, the highest numbers of applications received were from Polish, Romanian and Italian nationals. This has been the trend throughout the life of the scheme.”

By council area, Newham in east London saw the highest number of applications to the scheme (142,120). Outside London, this was seen in Birmingham in the West Midlands (138,490).

It is still not known how many people in the UK are eligible for the scheme but could remain in the country undocumented.

Anyone who has not yet applied effectively lost their lawful immigration status after the deadline.

Late applications can be made under limited reasonable grounds and the Government has said there is no cut-off date for doing so.

Those who applied before the deadline but have yet to receive a decision will have their existing rights protected, subject to the outcome of the application and any appeal.

Anyone who does not apply and continues to live in the UK without being able to prove their immigration status could face enforcement action.

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