| 3 February 2023, Friday |

Half a million EU citizens await decision over right to stay in UK

More than half a million EU citizens are still awaiting a decision over UK settled status after a hike of applications before the June deadline.

Home Office data shows that around 569,100 cases were pending in July.

Lawyers have warned that delays can last weeks, leaving some EU nationals unable to work or rent.

The Home Office says it has allocated extra resources to deal with applications and most non-complex cases are decided within five working days.

The automatic right for EU citizens and their families to live and work in the UK has ended after Brexit.

Instead, EU citizens had to apply for legal permission to remain under what is known as the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

A total of 6,015,400 applications were submitted between the launch of the scheme in March 2019 and the closing date of 30 June 2021.

Another 58,200 applications came in after the deadline, figures up to 31 July show.

Poland citizens submitted the highest number of applications at 1,091,500, followed by Romania with 1,067,200 and Italy with 545,600.