Home Office figures show about 1 million of the estimated 3 million EU citizens in the UK have not applied yet for settled status, which will allow them to stay in the UK. If EU citizens have not registered by December 2020 without an adequate justification, the immigration rules will apply.
The Home Office’s position has consistently been to stress that if someone has a good reason to explain why they failed to apply by the deadline then they will be reasonable. The Home Office indicated that if people persistently fail to apply, then they will have no lawful status in the UK.
Until now Home Office briefings have consistently tried to stress that officials will do everything, they can to grant EU nationals the right to remain and steered away from focusing on what would happen to those who failed to apply on time.
EU citizens who do not secure settled status may encounter problems applying for work or renting property, because employers and landlords will need to check that they are living in the UK lawfully.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “EU citizens are our friends, family and neighbours and we want them to stay.”
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