Number of EU citizens living in UK is now HIGHER than before Brexit

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Number of EU citizens living in UK is now HIGHER than before Brexit with 4.6million people granted right to remain - compared to 3.1million before Britain left bloc

EU citizens living in Britain by December 31 must apply to scheme by June 30If successful, they will be granted settled status and will be allowed to stay in UKSo far more than 5million have applied with 4.6million applications concluded Official figures show application numbers exceed estimated EU citizen figuresImmigration experts have previously criticised quality of the Government's data 

By Katie Feehan For Mailonline

Published: 13:07 GMT, 13 March 2021 | Updated: 13:25 GMT, 13 March 2021

There are now at least one and a half million more EU citizens living in the UK than before Brexit, Home Office figures have suggested.

In total, 4.6million people have been granted the right to remain in the UK after Brexit by way of the Government's EU Settlement Scheme.

This is higher than the estimated 3.1million EU citizens in the UK before Brexit, according to the Times.

Of the total figure, 1.6million EU citizens that have applied for settled status are concentrated in London which amounts to 17 per cent of the city's total population.

In two boroughs, Newham and Brent, three in ten of their residents are EU citizens and the boroughs have more EU citizens than any other UK city, the Times reports.

The East of England had the second highest concentration with 420,580 applications which equates to 6.7 per cent of the region's population.

So far, 5.1million people have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme with 4.6million applications concluded.

Of these, 2.5million have been granted permanent leave to remain and 2million have been granted pre-settled status.

Those with this status will need to reapply after living in the country for five years to gain permanent residence. 

The Times reports that only 3 per cent of applications have been refused, voided or withdrawn. 

Immigration experts have previously criticised the quality of the Government's data - which makes it hard to determine how many EU citizens in the UK are taking up the scheme.

Around 700,000 foreign workers from across the world are believed to have left Britain during the pandemic between July and September, according to statistics from the Office for National Statistics published last month.

But British official figures show that EU citizens continue to move to the UK and that there is still net EU migration. 

EU citizens and their families are asked to apply to a Home Office EU settlement scheme by June in order to carry on living and working in the UK now the Brexit transition period and freedom of movement has ended. 

A total of 5.1million applications have been received since the scheme opened in March 2019

Those granted settled status will be allowed to stay in the UK for as long as they want and can also apply for British citizenship.

Usually, you would need to wait a year after getting settled status to apply for citizenship. 

As of last month, the top nationalities to apply were Polish, Romanian and Italian which made up more than a third of the overall total. 

Cabinet minister Michael Gove previously described the huge uptake in the scheme as a 'great advertisement' for the country as EU citizens choose to stay in 'unprecedented numbers'. 

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