EU citizens in the United Kingdom will receive a formal warning if they wait too long before applying for a residence permit. The deadline to arrange that is in a week, British media write. For example, residents of EU countries can lose their right to free health care if they do not report in time to obtain such ‘settled status.
The Europeans have to make such an application because the United Kingdom has left the European Union. EU citizens who have lived in the country for more than five years can claim settled status. This gives them the right to continue to live and work in the UK. They can therefore continue to use all kinds of government services.
The government has already received 5.6 million applications, and many EU citizens are still trying to settle their residence status at the last minute. According to The Guardian, there are still about 10,000 to 12,000 registrations per day. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always go smoothly. Helpline employees have already had to speak to people 1.5 million times and half a million times for help via an online form.
Still, the government refuses to change the deadline. However, efforts are being made to reach people who may not be aware of the new rules, such as the elderly. If you miss the deadline on June 30, you will receive a warning with an urgent call to register within 28 days. Otherwise, there are serious consequences, even if people have lived in the country for decades.
According to British media, someone who is late can get into trouble when renting accommodation or looking for a job, for example. Deputy Secretary of State Kevin Foster has promised that the government will be flexible and lenient. Anyone who has not registered after 28 days will not immediately be deported from the country and may still be able to apply for residency status.
Another problem is that hundreds of thousands of applications still have to be processed. This means that some EU citizens may not hear whether they will be granted residency status for a few months. The government hopes to prevent problems by providing them with a certificate to prove that they have registered. For example, they can show this in hospitals to receive care.