More than 3.5 million applications have been filed by the citizens of the 27 European Union Member States, for UK’s EU Settlement Scheme as of May 14, internal figures of the UK Home Office show. EU27 Citizens in uk
With a year more to go until the scheme is closed for applications on June 20, 2021, it has already become the biggest scheme of its kind in British history.
The EU Settlement Scheme has been created for EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members living in the UK who want to remain in the country after Britain leaves the EU. It grants eligible applicants with settled and pre-settled status, enabling them to continue living in the UK after June 30, 2021.
Since it was launched, the UK has spent millions in advertising the campaign and helping vulnerable citizens to apply. Only this year, the Home Office announced a further £8 million of funding to help vulnerable EU citizens to apply.
At the same time, a wide range of support has been available for those who needed help to file an application or who have questions about the scheme, even throughout the pandemic.
According to the Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster, the EU citizens are part of the fabric of the British society.
“They are our friends, family and neighbours, enriching our culture and community. I am therefore pleased we’ve already had more than 3.5 million applications, with over a year left until the deadline. The scheme is the biggest of its kind in British history, and there’s still plenty of time left to apply,” he said.
In mid-May, updates to the immigration rules have been presented in Parliament, which updates include changes to the EU Settlement Scheme, as well.
The changes intend to widen access to the scheme for victims of domestic violence or abuse. If a family member’s relationship with an EEA citizen breaks down permanently as a result of domestic violence or abuse, this, coupled with their own continuous residence in the UK, will be recognised as part of their application. EU27 Citizens in uk
This highlights the government’s wider commitment to tackling domestic violence and abuse and protecting and supporting victims of it, at the same time.
The updates to the EU Settlement Scheme also mean that family members of British or dual British-Irish citizens from Northern Ireland will be eligible to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme. EU27 Citizens in uk