More than 86,000 European citizens authorized to stay

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Posted on 06/10/2021 | Last update on 06/10/2021 |

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Following the UK’s exit from the EU, EU citizens who lived in Wales before December 31, 2020 must have applied for residence by June 30, 2021.

Since its launch, more than 6.1 million requests have been submitted to the UK’s EU settlement system (EUS). The successful candidates are granted status either “set” or “pre-set”. For the background, see our previous article.

As of the application deadline, 9,330 applications from Wales, of which 3,360 are under the age of 18, have yet to receive a decision on their status. Late decisions can lead to range of problems, such as people who are wrongly denied employment, housing and other services.

This article presents the latest statistics on applications from Wales. It explains the process for late applications and for Welsh citizens living in Europe.

What the latest statistics tell us

Until the June 30 application deadline, there was 99,910 applications from Wales against a estimated at 95,000 eligible citizens who had to apply. 90,580 of them had received a decision before the deadline for submitting applications and are called “successful candidates”.

This means that 9,330 applications from Wales had not received a decision by the application deadline, as shown in the bar graph below.

Number of applications from Wales that received a decision before the deadline:

While the UK government says claims typically take 5 working days proceed, evidence published in June showed that more than two-thirds of applicants had waited a month for a decision.

“Set” or “pre-set”?

The bar graph below shows the percentage and number of each type of result awarded to EU citizens in Wales by the deadline.

Results of applications concluded by percentage and number:

This bar graph shows the percentage of each type of result awarded to EU citizens in Wales by the deadline.

Before the application deadline, 57.3% of requests concluded from Wales (51,880 requests) have obtained establishment status. To obtain settlement status, an applicant must have lived in the UK for five years without any absence of more than six months, with some exceptions.

38.2% of requests concluded of Wales (34,620 requests) were granted pre-settled status. EU citizens who have lived in the UK for less than five years, but arrived in the UK before December 31, 2020, are granted pre-established status.

The two citizens installed and pre-installed can work in the UK and access healthcare, education and public funds. They can also travel inside and outside the UK and apply for citizenship. However, preinstalled citizens cannot bring family members to join them and lose their status if they spend two years outside the UK (this equates to five years for established status holders). UK in a Changing Europe highlights how preinstalled citizens are also facing additional eligibility conditions to access social housing and homelessness assistance.

Unsuccessful applications are also reported. In Wales 1.6% were refused (1,420 completed requests), 1.4% were withdrawn or void (1,240 completed requests) and 1.6% were invalid (1,430 completed requests).

Preinstalled citizens must reapply to stay for more than five years

Preset status expires after five years and must be converted to preset status via a second request. This means that the 34,620 citizens who obtained pre-established status before the deadline and wish to stay in Wales beyond its expiration will need to reapply.

The interactive map below shows the number of pre-settled citizens in each Welsh local authority area:

An interactive map shows the number of pre-settled citizens in each local authority area of ​​Wales.

Who applied from Wales?

Statistics provide insight who applied at EUSS. Applications by age show that of the 99,910 applicants from Wales:

  • 79,790 applications came from people aged 18 to 64 (74,270 concluded);
  • For those under 18, there were 17,030 requests (13,670 concluded) and
  • There were 3,090 applications from people aged 65 and over (2,650 were concluded).

The number of applications which have been the subject of a decision before the deadline for submitting applications (“concluded applications”) is indicated in brackets.

Applications by nationality show that Polish and Romanian nationals were systematically among the application numbers in England, Scotland and Wales. For Wales:

  • 30,560 applications were received from Polish nationals; and
  • 14,850 applications were received from Romanian nationals.

Late applications

UK-wide statistics show that 108,940 applications were received after the deadline. The number of late claims from Wales is not available but more late claims data will be released in the future.

The UK government advises that late requests will be considered for those who have “Reasonable grounds” for missing the deadline, such as when a parent has not applied on behalf of a child or when someone has a serious medical condition.

Madeleine Sumption, director of Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, warns that, while UK government guidelines say late applicants will benefit from the doubt for now, they indicate this approach will become more stringent over time. It highlights the consequences of not respecting the deadline, such as the loss of the right to work, to rent accommodation, or of access to certain hospital care, and potentially the subject of a dismissal.

Beyond the application deadline

The Welsh government Social Justice Minister Jane Hutt announced that the financing of its free advice and support for European citizens will cease at the end of 2021.

Beyond that, it is unclear how the Welsh government plans to support late applicants or the 34,620 pre-settled Wales citizens who will need to make a second application to convert their status when its validity expires. five years.

The rights of EU citizens in the UK are monitored by the new post-Brexit body, the Independent Supervisory Authority (IMA). He recently published his first annual plan, outlining its key priorities and details of his first investigation, which identified a number of ongoing issues with the EUSS.

Citizens’ rights are a key part of UK-EU Withdrawal agreement which set the conditions for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The Welsh government must adhere to this agreement and each Welsh government minister has responsibilities for its implementation in decentralized areas. The Senedd Equality and Social Justice Commission will play an important role in monitoring this area in the Sixth Senedd.

For EU member states that require UK citizens to apply for residency, each member state has set its own application deadline. The remaining deadline is December 31st for UK citizens living in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia. Welsh people living in these countries can access more information about The European Commission webpage.

Article by Sara Moran, Helen Jones and Joe Wilkes, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament


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