Nearly 1 million EU citizens living in the UK have yet to apply for settled status, which will allow them to continue living in the country post Brexit.
The latest Home Office Statistics show that an estimated 900,000 EU citizens are still to apply, although just over 2.7 million EU citizens and their family members have applied for settled status.
Although there is no official data on how many EU citizens live in the UK, it is estimated to be between 3 million and 3.6 million.
EU nationals have until June next year to apply to the Home Office for settled status. According to the data, just over 300,000 of the 2,756,100 people who applied for settled status, are still waiting for confirmation from the Home Office.
So far, 58 per cent of applicants were granted settled status and 41 per cent were granted the more precarious pre-settled status, which allows people to stay in the UK for a further five years.
The Home Office revealed that only six applications were refused on suitability grounds.
Brandon Lewis, the UK’s Security Minister, said he was pleased with the response to the scheme and urged EU members to put the same effort into guaranteeing the status of British nationals living in their countries beyond Brexit.
“The UK is their home and the EU settlement scheme has already granted status to 2.5 million people so they can stay.
“We have done more than other EU member states to support EU citizens and it’s time other countries made the same generous offer to the million UK nationals who live among them.”
However, critics of the system believe the government’s approach is unfair and are critical of the number of applicants only being awarded ‘pre-settled’ status.
The Lib Dem home affairs spokeswoman, Christine Jardine, said: “Boris Johnson promised to automatically guarantee their rights in law, but today’s figures show that his government’s settled status scheme is anything but automatic.”
Article published 17th January 2019