More than 231,000 Portuguese apply for UK residence

More than 231,000 Portuguese apply for UK residence

More than 231,000 Portuguese citizens have already applied for residence status in the UK, which is mandatory after 'Brexit', the British Home Office announced Thursday.

In December, 10,700 Portuguese applied, as did 139,500 other Europeans, bringing the number of Europeans who have completed this process to almost 2.6 million.

According to the report published today, so far 58% of candidates have received a permanent title and 41% a provisional title and only six applications out of almost three million have been rejected due to lack of eligibility, namely for having committed serious crimes.

Permanent resident status ('settled status') is granted to those who have lived in the UK for five consecutive years, while those who have been in the country for less than five years will have pre-settled status until they complete the necessary time.

The Portuguese government estimates that around 400,000 Portuguese live in the UK.

Portugal remains the country with the fourth largest number of nationals registered in the EU Settlement Scheme, behind Poland, Romania and Italy.

The right to apply for residence under the scheme expires on 31 December 2020, when the transitional period provided for in the agreement negotiated between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the EU last October ends.

The agreement also gives Europeans who have settled in the UK until the end of 2020 an additional six months until 30 June to complete their application for residence status.

Those who do not apply on time can be considered illegal immigrants in the UK and will be liable to deportation, although the government has committed to a "flexible" and "reasonable" attitude.

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