10,000 EU nationals successfully apply to call Wigan home
Nearly 10,000 EU nationals have been granted permission to stay in Wigan, figures show.
The3Million, which campaigns for EU citizens’ rights, says it is concerned for the hundreds of thousands of people still waiting to find out if they can continue living in a post-Brexit UK.
Home Office data shows 9,960 EU citizens had successfully applied to continue living in Wigan by June 30: the deadline for new applications imposed by the Government following Brexit.
The EU Settlement scheme launched in March 2019 to regulate the immigration status of European citizens who live in the UK.
Around 1,530 applications were submitted in the last three months of the scheme: 13 per cent of all requests received in Wigan.
The highest number of applications received came from Romania (2,810), Poland (2,760) and Lithuania (870) nationals.
EU citizens with limited reasonable grounds for missing the June deadline can still apply to secure their rights.
Those who have lived in the UK for five years and meet the criteria, can receive settled status and remain in the country indefinitely. Others who have lived in the country for less time can receive pre-settled status, which allows them to remain for a further five years. They can later apply for settled status.
Between the launch of the scheme and the deadline, a total of 10,480 applications were dealt with in Wigan, with 5,740 people granted settled status and 4,220 pre-settled status. Around 520 applications were either refused, withdrawn or invalid.
The3Million said although millions of applications had been processed under the EU Settlement Scheme, almost half a million people were still awaiting a decision.
A spokesman said: “This backlog is unlikely to be cleared anytime soon, given the slowing pace of decision making.
“The scheme will also continue to receive new applications from vulnerable citizens who missed the deadline, as well as those upgrading from pre-settled to settled status and from joining family members.
“It is therefore crucial the Government commits to a long-term plan to support all applicants.”