On Wednesday, there was a fivefold rise in EU citizens applying for UK settled status, with more than 50,000 people hurrying to meet the midnight deadline, according to reports.
Because of the last-minute rush, the Home Office has extended the deadline for applications to 9 a.m. on Thursday. As EU citizens expressed their fears and fury on social media over how the Brexit referendum five years ago impacted their rights to remain in the country, the Home Office sought to reassure applicants that anyone who filed before 9 a.m. on Thursday would be considered as an in-time application.
According to Home Office data, EU and European Economic Area citizens applied for the right to remain permanently in the nation and ensure future rights to the NHS, work, rent, bank, study, and retire up until last week. According to the department, 5 million people have been granted settled or pre-settled status. However, application counts in the last 24 hours were “comparable to the high” day immediately before the transition period ended on December 31, when 58,000 people applied. According to Home Office briefings last week, the daily average in the previous month was 10,000 to 12,000 people. However, social media posts suggest that many people are still concerned and unsure about their futures.
Everyone who applied on time would receive a certificate of application, which could be used to prove their rights, according to the Home Office. However, it warned that it would take time because postal applications would need to be opened, verified, and a certificate provided. It said it would accept all postal applications in the coming days, as well as any that could be proven to have been sent before the June 30 deadline.
Nicolas Hatton, a co-founder of the3million campaign group, called Thursday “a new dawn for EU citizens,” but added individuals with settled status could dwell in the UK for the rest of their life if they so desired. He voiced concern, though, that EU citizens would not share his sentiments. “It’s encouraging that so many people applied before the deadline. And as the3million, we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that people feel safe and that their rights are respected. Hatton called the government’s claim that it was being “flexible and pragmatic” but not extending the deadline while the backlog of 400,000 applications was being processed “pigheaded.”
According to the Home Office, EU residents who submit a proper application by June 30 will have their rights legally protected and will receive an application certificate that can be presented to employers and landlords and validated by our verification service. Anyone who is waiting for their certificate of application can share their confirmation of application with landlords and employers, according to the statement.
Photo Credit: https://natoassociation.ca/britains-future-in-the-eu/