5 years to the day since the UK voted to leave the European Union, UK Immigration officials are to give thousands of EU citizens who are living in the UK, 28-days notice to apply for Settled Status, if they have failed to do so before the application deadline closes next week.
The communication will advise them to submit their application or risk consequences which will include losing their Right-to-Work and access to the UK’s free National Health Service. However, the Government says that urgent medical treatment will never be refused.
EU nationals currently living in the UK now have until June 30th 2021, in order to apply to stay in the UK, on either a Pre-Settled or Settled basis.
Settled Status is available to anyone who had been living in the UK continuously for 5 years or longer, prior to December 31st 2020.
Pre-settled status is available to anyone who had been living in the UK for less than 5 years at the end of 2020.
At the end of last month, Settled Status had been granted to 2.75 million people and 2.28 million had been granted Pre-Settled Status.
The UK Immigration Minister ruled-out extending the June 30th deadline, despite a recent surge in applications which are currently hitting 10,000 to 12,000 a day and there are reports of a backlog of 400,000 applications which may not be processed until end of August.
However, the Minister has said that anyone whose application was not processed by the June 30th deadline would not lose out and that they will be issued with a “certificate of application”, while their application is being processed. He also added that an indefinite time period for Settled Status applications to be submitted will exist, as long as the applicants can provide reasonable excuse for missing the end of June deadline.
The UK Home office says that enforcement teams would not be knocking on doors but are instead advising all employers to urge people who are late applying to do so and that the Home Office will be on-hand for advice. They also say that from July 1st 2021, where immigration enforcement officers encounter a person without status under the EU Settlement Scheme, they will give written notice to those individuals, giving them an opportunity to apply to the scheme within a 28 period.