EU citizens in the UK receive a formal warning if they wait too long to apply for residence status. There is one week left before the deadline looms. For example, EU citizens may lose their right to free health care if they do not report in time to obtain such a ‘settled status’. They will not be deported though.
The Europeans have to make such an application because the United Kingdom has left the European Union. EU citizens who have been living in our country for more than five years can claim the ‘settled status’. It gives them the right to continue living and working in the UK. They can therefore continue to use all kinds of public services.
The government has already received 5.6 million applications and many EU citizens are still trying to regulate their residence status at the last minute. There are still about 10,000 to 12,000 applications per day. That doesn’t always go smoothly. Employees of a helpline have already had to speak to people 1.5 million times and half a million times have been asked for help via a internet.
The government refuses to push the deadline. Those who miss the deadline on 30 June will receive a warning with the urgent call to register within 28 days. Otherwise there are serious consequences, even if people have been living in the country for decades.
For example, those who are late may find it difficult to rent accommodation or find a job. Deputy minister Kevin Foster has promised that the government will be flexible and lenient. Those who have not registered after 28 days will not be expelled immediately and may still be able to apply for a residence status.
Another problem is that hundreds of thousands of applications still have to be processed. This means that some EU citizens may not know if they are going to be granted residence status for a few months. The government hopes to avoid problems by giving them a certificate with which they can prove that they have signed up. For example, they can show that in hospitals to get care.