LONDON (Reuters) – An estimated 500,000 European Union nationals in Britain have yet to apply for a new immigration status, which most will need to remain in the country after Brexit.
FILE PHOTO: UK Border control is seen in Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London June 4, 2014. REUTERS/Neil Hall
The government is introducing the biggest shake-up of Britain’s border controls in decades, ending the priority given to EU migrants over those from other countries after leaving the bloc last week.
Government statistics show that 3 million EU citizens and their family members have applied for “settled status,” a form of permission from the government to remain in Britain.
The figures underline the large number applications for the scheme, which was launched nationally in March last year, but also the challenge ahead for the government to ensure all EU citizens correctly apply.
Interior minister Priti Patel said she was pleased with the response and urged EU members to put the same effort into guaranteeing the status of British nationals living in their countries beyond Brexit.