London. A few weeks before the deadline for applications for EU citizens to remain in the UK at the end of June, representatives of civil rights initiatives expressed their concerns. Thousands of people could lose their rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement because they missed the application deadline, Luke Piper of London’s 3million organization warned.
The 300,000 or so people who have applied in time, but no result will be available to them by the end of the deadline, may also face difficulties.
“The challenge will be to demonstrate that the application process is ongoing with the Home Office and that landlords, employers and social service providers accept them,” Piper said. Even those who have a positive decision may have problems with the purely digital system to prove their rights, for technical reasons, for example.
People in the low wage sector are at risk
According to the Center for Labor Rights, people in the low-wage sector in particular are at risk of failing at the hurdles of digital evidence. “Two out of five people who contacted the Center for Employment Rights said they were unable to create a digital directory when asked by their employer,” said the organization’s director, Olivia Ficol.
Citizens of the European Union and other European countries can apply for the right of residence in Great Britain until the end of June. The prerequisite is that they have already entered the country before the final completion of Brexit on January 1, 2021.
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According to the UK Home Office, more than 5.3 million applications have already been received. Of the approximately 5 million cases decided upon, 97 percent were granted a temporary or permanent right of residence. And Piper cautioned that whether they actually have the same rights they did before remains to be seen.