Shortly before the end of the important deadline, according to one report, more than 50,000 EU citizens applied for the right to remain in the UK after Brexit. This means that on Wednesday – the last possible day – the number of people applying for citizenship was five times the average in the last few weeks per day, As reported by the Guardian newspaper,. The rush at the last minute was so great that the Home Office extended the deadline for accepting applications to 9am on Thursday.
The so-called EU Settlement Program aims to guarantee EU citizens living in Great Britain largely the same rights they had before Brexit – such as the right to live and work in the country, as well as access to the health system and social services. The prerequisite is that you have already lived in the country before the end of 2020 – that is, before Brexit. There are also similar programs for British people living in EU countries.
However, according to experts, it may become a problem that EU citizens in Great Britain can only prove their new right of residence in a relatively complex way in digital form. In social media, those affected were already reporting problems with landlords or recruitment agencies who did not know or wanted to accept the evidence.
The consequences may be more serious for those who miss the application deadline and thus lose their right of residence. Civil rights organizations are particularly concerned with the elderly, the sick, and the homeless. Some of these people don’t even realize they have to apply for a new status, or they haven’t fit into the digital application process. According to estimates, hundreds of thousands could not apply and, at worst, could expect to be expelled.