16 Mar 2017, 38 mins ago

Since the recent EU referendum Prime Minister Theresa May has consistently refused to safeguard the right to remain for EU citizens currently residing in the UK.

The government has brought to light a potential 1 million EU citizens who are living in the UK and are at risk of losing their right to remain in the UK if a simplified method of establishing an EU citizens legal status in the UK is not introduced.

MP Keir Starmer has submitted a demand to Theresa May for the guarantee of UK residence rights for EU citizens, emphasising the need to secure such rights before Brexit negotiations begin. The government has suggested that EU citizens who are worried about their right to remain in the UK and who are entitled to apply for permanent residence, should start their application now to secure UK residency.

Keir Starmer, however, has highlighted the burden Brexit has put on the application process, overwhelming the resources of the Home Office and causing a backlog of cases. Applications for permanent residence in the UK have increased by 83% since the referendum as EU citizens attempt to guarantee their rights in the UK. In addition, recent figures provided by the Home Office show that in the three months leading up to the EU referendum, the backlog of applications made by EU citizens significantly increased from 23,000 to an overwhelming 113,000.

Nicolas Hatton, Chair of The Three Million – lobbying for the rights of non-British citizens who have made the UK their home, stated “EU citizens have been feeling very anxious about their future since the referendum, and this set of data will not reassure them. We call on you to remove the threat of deportation without notice and give us, today, guarantees that all EU citizens living legally in the UK will be able to exercise their right to remain before the UK leaves the EU.”

An application for permanent residence includes a 91-page application form and asks for proof of residency in the UK and proof of each absence and entry to the UK for the past 5 years.  Many individuals who have submitted their applications for permanent residence have experienced difficulties in the provision of the required documents evidencing their continuous stay in the UK.

Should you wish to make an enquiry about your legal right to reside in the UK, please do not hesitate to contact Gherson.