According to Britain’s Home Office, they have until March 31 entered the EU citizens’ registration system. [EU Settlement Scheme, EUSS] 444,490 applications were from Portuguese nationals, of which 431,130 were processed.
Of these, 241,320 were granted permanent status, 160,750 were temporary rights and 29,060 were denied, voided, or deemed void.
As of March 31, 2022, only 24,960 Portuguese residents in the UK have transitioned from temporary (“pre-settled status”) to permanent (“settled status”), granted after five years of continuous residence in the country.
This change must be made before temporary status expires, once the five-year period is reached, and entails repeating the application method previously made, along with proof of ‘continuous residence’ or justification for extended absence.
This process is mandatory for anyone who wants to preserve the right to live, work or study in the country, but some organizations fear that many will forget or do not realize its importance.
A study by Oxford University’s Migration Monitor published in March warned of obstacles in updating Britain’s post-Brexit residency status because it required more information.
The document stresses that “providing evidence is more difficult for some groups that do not have regular relations with public bodies, such as vagrants, informal workers, or some non-working women who take care of children.”
Vulnerable people such as the elderly, minors in social services, and prisoners face additional challenges due to a lack of information, digital skills, or a language barrier.
A European or family member can lose temporary resident status if they spend more than six months outside the UK within a 12-month period, but British authorities have made exceptions, such as health, education, occupational issues or related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seasonal workers and other temporary migrants with temporary status are at greater risk of not meeting requirements, and prison sentences cut the required five years.
EUSS was opened in 2019 after the United Kingdom left the European Union to guarantee residency status to citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein and their close family members from third countries.
Permanent residents can spend up to five continuous years abroad before they lose their right to live in the UK.
In total, the UK Home Office has so far received nearly 6.6 million applications from Europeans and family members within the scope of EUSS, with 268,100 incomplete applications.
Although the official deadline expires on 30 June 2021, the UK government continues to accept applications as long as there are “good reasons” for the delay, and promises a “workable and flexible” approach.
Without proof of status or certificate of application, European immigrants or their family members lose their rights to live, work and access health, educational and social support services in the UK.
BM // LFS
By Impala News / Lusa
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