Over 230,000 Portuguese have requested UK residencies ahead of Brexit.
Explain reports today, Portugal is among the ‘top four’ countries whose nationals have registered for the so-called EU Settlement Scheme (the others being Poland, Romania and Italy).
Applications will continue run for the rest of the year (up to December 31, which should signal the end of the ‘transition period’).
Britain is due to leave the European Union on January 31 (with or without the ‘bongs of Big Ben’).
Says Lusa today, almost 2.6 million Europeans have already completed the various steps of the EU Settlement Scheme. Of these 58% have been awarded ‘settled status’ with 41% getting ‘pre-settled status’.
Only six candidates in this huge universe of people have been refused, on the basis that they were not eligible, “namely for the fact that they had committed serious crimes”.
Explain reports, settled status is attributed to all those who can prove to have lived five consecutive years in UK, while pre-settled status is a provisional level, to be upgraded once applicants have completed their five years.
According to Portuguese government estimates, there are around 400,000 Portuguese living in the UK.
Any of these who don’t register for the European Settlement Scheme in the time-scale provided will risk being considered ‘illegal immigrants’ and face deportation – although British PM Boris Johnson has stressed that authorities mean to adopt a “flexible” and “reasonable” attitude.