Thousands of EU citizens are still applying for settled status in the UK long after the government’s post-Brexit cutoff date.
The deadline for EU citizens to apply to remain the UK was 30 June 2021 with the government insisting it would only accept late applications for its settlement scheme with a reasonable excuse. Home Office data reveals that the UK government has been inundated with 236,840 applications between the end of June and November, with analysis by Bloomberg revealing that 65,000 requests were made in October alone.
“The Home Office is delighted thousands more people have been rightly granted status through the hugely successful EU Settlement Scheme,” a spokesperson said in a statement to City AM.
Rather than seeking to block applications The Home Office said it is actively “looking for reasons to grant status.”
“We encourage anyone eligible who is yet to apply to get in touch and join the millions who have already secured their rights,” the spokesperson added.
With the Home Office racing to keep up with demand 463,000 applications have been concluded after the June 30 deadline, adding to some 5.5m outcomes. So far just 7 per cent of applications have been refused, withdrawn or declared invalid.
The UK’s willingness to continue accepting applications may have something to do with chronic job shortages hitting sectors where EU workers formerly made up the numbers.
An estimated 500,000 EU workers have left the UK since the 2016 Brexit vote. EU migrants made up a disproportionately large share of occupations which are now experiencing chronic shortages.
According to the IMF 21 per cent of storage workers and 11 per cent of drivers came from the EU before the pandemic with Europeans making up 8 per cent of the workforce across occupations.