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1.5m EU citizens apply to settle in Britain

Published : 12 Sep 2019, 20:46

  DF-Xinhua Report

File Photo Xinhua.

Almost 300,000 European citizens applied to settle in Britain in August, bringing the total of applicants using the British government's EU settlement scheme to 1.5 million, figures revealed Thursday.

   This means around half of the estimated 3 million Europeans currently living in Britain have applied to stay in the country.

   Britain's interior ministry, the Home Office, published the latest official statistics on the EU Settlement Scheme up to Aug. 31, 2019.

   It showed that, by the end of August, over 1.1 million applicants had been granted status under the scheme.

    Over 1.2 million applications had been received from individuals in England, with marked increases also seen in applications filed from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

   The government said complete applications were typically being processed within one to four days.

   The Home Office said the highest number of applications came from Polish nationals, over 60,000 in August, more than double the number received in July.

   Minister of State for the Home Office Brandon Lewis said: "EU citizens are our friends and neighbours, and we want them to stay in the UK. I am delighted that over 1.5 million people have already applied."

   The Home Office said the settlement scheme was designed to make it straightforward for EU citizens and their family members to stay after the UK leaves the EU.

   More than 1,500 Home Office staff are working on the scheme, with a dedicated Settlement Resolution Center, where staff are providing tailored support to guide applicants through the process.

   The British government said whether there is Brexit deal or no deal, the estimated 3 million EU citizens and their family members living in Britain have until at least Dec. 31, 2020 to apply for settled status.