240,000 EU citizens able to stay in Scotland

The Scottish Government said on Thursday that with less than a month to go to apply, more than a quarter of a million applications have been made by EU Citizens to remain in Scotland.

Europe Minister Jenny Gilruth has requested that the UK Government make a series of urgent changes to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) — including extending the June 30 deadline.

In total, 263,220 applications have been made by EU Citizens to stay in Scotland, with 250,040 concluded.

Of the 250,040 concluded applications, 141,220 were granted settled status, 102,000 were granted pre-settled status, 1,550 applications were refused, 2,650 withdrawn or void and 2,620 were invalid applications.

The Scottish Government has intensified its Stay in Scotland campaign to raise awareness and direct EU citizens to the support services it funds.

Gilruth is urging the UK Government to change the scheme so that status is granted automatically, successful applicants have the option of receiving physical proof of their status, and for the removal of the five-year residency requirement for settled status.

Gilruth said: “Our message to EU Citizens remains the same: this is your home, you’re welcome here and we want you to stay.

“I am delighted and moved that so many of our fellow Europeans, who contribute so much in so many ways to our society, wish to stay with us.

“However I remain deeply concerned for the remaining EU citizens who are at risk of losing their rights here – and that the deadline of 30 June is looming.

“EU citizens have long lived with unacceptable levels of uncertainty about how Brexit will affect their lives, careers and families, and the COVID pandemic has exacerbated the difficulties faced to secure their rights and their future.

“We have pushed hard for changes to the EUSS – and, even at this late stage, we believe there is no good reason why the UK Government cannot make them.”

Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive Derek Mitchell said: “The Citizens Advice network in Scotland is here to assist anyone, anywhere in Scotland, with their application to the EUSS.

“Our team of specialist advisors can be contacted on our EU Citizens Support Service helpline, 0800 916 9847.

“We have supported over 12,500 EU citizens with their applications and will do everything we can in the remaining few weeks to help people apply.”

The Scottish Government said there is a lack of reliable data across the UK, including Scotland, on the exact number of EU citizens who still need to apply to the scheme to secure their status.

The Scottish Government said it is aware of a significant backlog of cases at the UK Home Office, and through work with third sector partners of a potentially significant number of people who have not yet applied.