Government releases quarterly statistics for EU Settlement Scheme

The Government recently released their quarterly statistics for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), with the latest publication taking an in-depth look at the total number of applications to the scheme between 28th August 2018 and 30th June 2021 (the deadline for applications by those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period).

The EU Settlement Scheme enables EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK by the end of the transition period at 11pm on 31 December 2020, and their family members, to obtain a UK immigration status.

Their latest figures show that there were over 6 million (6,050,860) applications for the scheme, with 90% in England, 5% in Scotland, 2% in Wales and 2% in Northern Ireland.

Since the launch of the scheme, October 2019 saw the highest number of applications received (591,580) and the highest number of concluded applications (401,480). The end of the transition period (June 2021) saw the third largest volume of applications to the scheme (443,790).

Across all nationalities, the highest numbers of applications received were from Polish, Romanian and Italian nationals. This has been the trend throughout the life of the scheme.

Polish and Romanian nationals were consistently among the highest application numbers within England, Scotland and Wales. For Northern Ireland, however, Polish and Lithuanian nationals accounted for the largest number of applications.

There were just over 1 million (1,002,280) applications received from people under 18 years of age, 4.9 million (4,896,420) applications from those aged 18 to 64 and 152,120 applications from those aged 65 and above (17%, 81% and 3%, respectively). Northern Ireland had a noticeably higher proportion (20%) of applications from people under 18 compared to the rest of the UK (average of 16% for each nation).

There were 420,150 applications received from non-EEA nationals, with the highest applications from Indian (68,810), Pakistani (55,930) and Brazilian nationals (43,490).

5.4 million (5,444,550) applications had been concluded up to 30th June 2021. Of the concluded outcomes, 52% (2,846,820) were granted settled status, 43% (2,327,850) were granted pre-settled status and 4% had other outcomes (including 109,430 refused applications, 80,600 withdrawn or void applications, and 79,730 invalid applications).

Concluded outcomes granted settled status were higher for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland (60%, 57%, 56%, respectively), compared to England (53%).

Of the 6.1 million applications received, 8% were from repeat applicants (472,220). This indicates that an estimated 5,548,440 people had applied to the scheme up to 30th June 2021, with over 4.9 million obtaining a grant of status.

89% of repeat applicants have received a grant of status (Settled or Pre-settled Status). 44% of repeat applicants have moved from Pre-settled to Settled status.

Romanian nationals accounted for the highest number of repeat applicants to the scheme (118,870, 25%).

As of 30th June 2021, the London Borough of Newham saw the highest number of applications to the scheme (142,120).

As of 30th June 2021, of all local authorities, Ealing had the highest number of applications from Polish nationals (26,290), Newham from Romanian nationals (44,150) and Tower Hamlets from Italian nationals (21.910).

There were also 4,800 applications received from family members of British citizens (Surinder Singh and Lounes), 7,320 applications received from Zambrano applicants, 1,630 applications received from Chen applicants and 390 applications received from Ibrahim & Teixeira applicants.

Industry Reaction

Joanna Hunt, Director and Head of UK Immigration at Fieldfisher, commented: “With the three-month delay on getting the EU Settlement Scheme figures from the Home Office, it does not tell us about the current situation. Therefore, the next release of figures will be the one to watch, as it will show what is happening since the end of June deadline has passed.

“What we can see is that there was a massive spike in June, which shows the mad rush to get in applications before the deadline. It is also encouraging to see the high rate of approvals. The Home Office has said it will be quite flexible, so there’s potential that the approval rate could remain consistent even for the late applications.

“Though, it is important to note that these figures do not give a true sense of whether everyone is being captured as it includes repeat applications.

“The more pertinent issues are that the EUSS scheme is no longer of any benefit to the UK industries that are facing severe worker crises, such as hospitality, healthcare and construction. They simply need better options from the Home Office to address their worker shortage issues.

“Also, this scheme now brings the reality closer to home for employers that they have a new responsibility to check and track the status of an additional group of non-native workers, leaving employers at greater risk of falling foul to UK right to work laws.

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