Almost 5 million Migrants Get UK Residence Under EU Settlement Scheme
Almost 5 million Granted UK Residence Under EU Settlement Scheme
Despite warnings of a mass ‘Brexit exodus’ of European migrants, it has emerged that just under five million people were granted the right to live and work in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme so far, according to official estimates.
Home Office figures reveal that, as of the end of June, some 4,908,760 EU citizens had been granted an immigration status to remain in the country as full freedom of movement to live and work in the UK came to a close following Brexit transition.
EU citizens – as well as people from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – and their families were invited to apply to the scheme by the June 30 deadline.
Quarterly data published this week showed that the Home Office had processed 5.5 million applications for settlement by the deadline, with the highest numbers of applications coming from Polish, Romanian and Italian nationals
The latest figures are much higher than the official estimate of how many EU nationals are living in the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicated that in mid-2020 this was 3.5 million.
More than six million applications (6,050,860) were submitted between the launch of the scheme in March 2019 and the June 30 2021 cut-off date.
Over 2.8 million applicants were granted settled status, allowing them permanent leave to remain in the UK.
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 or indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
Included in this number, immigration status was granted to 295,890 people from countries like India, Pakistan and Brazil under the scheme, which allows family members who are not EU or European Economic Area nationals to also apply.
The Home Office 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.”
There were 109,430 applications refused, 80,600 withdrawn or void, and 79,730 were deemed invalid, where the Home Office decides someone is not eligible to apply or has failed to provide sufficient proof of residence.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.
In London, Newham saw the highest number of applications to the scheme (142,120). Outside London, the highest number was 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 may have lost their lawful immigration status after the deadline, although 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 are protected under existing rights, 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. Most migrating EU citizens will in future need a work permit to live and work in the UK.
The UK has one million job vacancies including a shortage of lorry drivers and builders, much of which has been blamed on Brexit. However, the latest Home Office settlement figures appears to contradict this claim.
The mainstream media keep spreading rumours that there will be empty supermarket shelves this Christmas because of the lorry driver shortage and Brexit, yet everywhere I look there’s a lorry or van thundering down my street!
You can’t move for delivery vans dropping off goods to people who for whatever reason prefer not to go to a shop.
Finally, if most of our food is imported, would that not be delivered by a lorry from the country from which the food is being sent? Of course it would! That’s why our motorways are clogged up with juggernauts from Spain, Netherlands, Romania, Poland and just about every other EU country.
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