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Thousands of EU citizens in Barking and Dagenham apply to stay in UK

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 February 2020

Thousands have applied for settlement status in the UK. Picture: PA/Yui Mok

Thousands have applied for settlement status in the UK. Picture: PA/Yui Mok

PA Wire/PA Images

Almost 30,000 EU citizens in Barking and Dagenham have applied to live and work in the UK after Brexit, according to the Home Office.

The EU Settlement Scheme allows resident EU and Swiss citizens, plus those from the European Economic Area countries to apply to continue living and working in the UK.

The government has hailed the process as a success, saying it has received more than three million applications so far.

But EU citizens' rights campaign group the3million says even a small percentage of individuals missing out means misery for thousands.

Official figures show that 29,320 applications were made in Barking and Dagenham up to the end of last year, of which 25,780 were finalised.

Of those, 15,340 applicants were granted settled status, meaning they have a permanent right to remain in the UK.

A further 10,340 were handed pre-settled status, which gives them permission to keep living in the country and the chance to reapply once they have done so for five years.

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The rest of the applications had other outcomes, such as being refused, withdrawn or void, or invalid.​

More than three million EU citizens have applied to live and work in the UK after Brexit, according to the Home Office, and more than 2.7 million have been granted permission to remain.

The national figures cover up to the end of January.

In Barking and Dagenham, Romanian nationals made the most applications up to the end of December (9,410), followed by people from Lithuania (4,720) and Italy (2,950).

Across the UK, Polish (512,310), Romanian (435,690) and Italian (290,990) nationals submitted the most applications.

Relatives of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who are not from any of those countries themselves but live in the UK under EU law are also allowed to apply.

Successful applicants can stay after the deadline on June 30, 2021 once the Brexit transition period and freedom of movement end.

They can use the NHS, study and access public funds and benefits, as well as travel in and out of the country.

In Barking and Dagenham, 5,350 applications were from under-18s, while just 410 were from people aged 65 and over.

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