Over five million people have applied for the European Settlement Scheme that closes at the end of the month

  • Deadline for the European Settlement Scheme is at the end of the month
  • Editor of the magazine Swiss Review explains how the scheme is personally affecting herself and her family
  • Home Office recorded that "just over 5.3 million (5,301,470) applications" have been made

The deadline to allow European and Swiss citizens to stay in Great Britain is fast approaching, having only until the end of the month to apply for the European Settlement Scheme.

The European Settlement scheme enables EU nationals who have exercised their rights to work or study to apply for a UK permit to remain in the UK after 30 June for free.

The scheme also applies to the European Economic Area which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

If they fail to apply by the deadline they will be considered unlawful citizens and are at risk of being deported.

Editor of Swiss Review Gioia Palmieri
Editor of Swiss Review Gioia Palmieri

Gioia Palmieri is the editor of the Swiss Review, a magazine for the Swiss abroad that keeps them informed about the goings-on of the country they live in. 

She is also a member of the Facebook group Swiss Club Manchester. The role of the club is to promote Swiss culture and maintain a link with their place of birth.

They do this by running social events throughout the year such as barbeques, talks, and national celebrations.

Gioia has personal experience applying for the European Settlement Scheme.

“I came to the UK because of my husband’s work– he is an academic,” she said.  

“Six years ago, he had won the position of lecturer in the USA, but we decided to move to the UK because we could stay in Europe, and the US’s visa application sounded too complicated for us. 

“For us it was a bit humiliating to have to complete the Settlement Scheme because my husband had several job offers.

“But we chose the UK, we thought it was a country that offered more freedom to foreign citizens.”

“Swiss citizens have the highest salaries in the world, there is no unemployment, and the quality of life is much higher than in the UK and other countries.

“Therefore, a Swiss citizen who moves abroad is a highly qualified and self-sufficient worker.

“A Swiss citizen doesn’t move to the UK because he doesn’t get along well or struggles in his country, but because of work mobility and job experience.

“I don’t think the deadline should be extended because the decision has been made and a lot of help and information has been provided to help people meet the deadline.”

To be a successful applicant for the scheme you need a valid ID document and proof of residence. 

However, there are two separate categories for successful applicants: settled status and pre-settled status.

How long you have been in the UK determines your status.

Amunah Anthony
Immigration caseworker Amunah Anthony

Amunah Anthony is an immigration caseworker for Ashwood Solicitors and a qualified Barrister.

Speaking about the scheme, she said: “We have been busy doing many cases, but I believe that there are many more EU nationals and family members who are still not aware that a deadline is looming which we have approximately twenty days after which there will be new immigration laws coming into place.” 

“I would only make improvements to the European Settlement Scheme in the sense that they should extend the deadline in June perhaps for six months.

“This is because EU nationals who have lived in the country for more than five, twenty or fifty years who think that they do not have to apply need to apply.

“Indefinite leave to remain in the UK allows EU nationals to travel outside of the UK for five years.

“Also, the family members of the EU national who has been in the UK for less than five years are eligible to put in an application for pre-settled status.

“This means that they will be given five years to remain and are allowed to travel outside of the UK.

“After the five years, they can apply for settlement which is indefinite leave.”

According to the official EU Settlement Scheme Quarterly Statistics for March 2021, just over 5.3 million (5,301,470) applications had been received, with 90% received in England, 5% in Scotland, 2% in Wales and 2% in Northern Ireland.”

Also, of “the concluded outcomes”, 53% (2,623,720) were granted settled status, 44% (2,173,270) were granted pre-settled status and 3% had other outcomes (including 55,950 refused applications, 60,170 withdrawn or void applications, and 64,580 invalid applications).”

To apply for the European Settlement Scheme click here.