More than 5.5 million people applied to remain in UK post-Brexit

More than 5.5 million people applied to remain in UK post-Brexit
Credit: Belga

Of the more than 5.5 million people who applied to remain in the United Kingdom under the EU Settlement Scheme, just under five million have been granted permission to continue living and working there.

The UK's Home Office launched the scheme in March 2019 to process the registration of EU citizens who lived there before its departure from the bloc, to allow them to remain in the country under settled or pre-settled status.

"An estimated 5,548,440 people applied to the scheme up to 30 June 2021, with over 4.9 million obtaining a grant of status," the Home Office's statement read.

Around 52% of all applicants (2,846,820 applications) were granted settled status, whilst 43% (2,327,850) were granted pre-settled status, meaning they need to reapply after living in the UK for five years to gain permanent residence.

The remaining applications included 109,430 refused applications, 80,600 of which were withdrawn or void applications, and 79,730 invalid applications, which means the Home Office decided someone was not eligible to apply or failed to provide sufficient proof of residence.

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Citizens from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, as well as family members of all these people, could also apply. If citizens from these countries or EU citizens didn't apply by the end of June 2021, they lost their lawful immigration status, making it illegal to continue living in the UK.

According to the statistics, the highest numbers of applications received in England, Scotland and Wales were from Polish, Romanian and Italian nationals. In Northern Ireland, Polish and Lithuanian nationals accounted for the largest number of applications.

Meanwhile, just over 1 million applications were for children; just 152,120 applications were for people aged over 65, accounting for 3% of all applications.

Of the 6.1 million applications received, around 8% (472,220) were from repeat applicants according to official estimates from quarterly data released by the UK's Home Office on Thursday.

However, the number obtained so far is still being evaluated as some applied before the deadline but have not yet received a decision, meaning they may be updated in the future.

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