UK outlines 'simple' process for EU citizens after Brexit

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of PMQs at parliament in London. The British government is facing another knife-edge vote in Parliament on Wednesday June 20, 2018, over how much control lawmakers should have over the country's departure from the European Union. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

LONDON — Britain has outlined how it plans to handle as many as 3.5 million residence applications from European Union citizens after Brexit, admitting Thursday that the scale of the process poses a challenge.

When Britain leaves the bloc next year, it will end the free-movement policy that lets EU citizens live in any member state. But the government says EU citizens already in Britain can stay and have their families join them.

There are about 3.8 million EU nationals living in Britain, and almost 1 million U.K. citizens who reside elsewhere in the 28-nation bloc.

Many EU citizens in Britain complain that, two years after the U.K. voted to leave the EU, they still don't know what their rights will be or how the process will work.

The government disclosed some details Thursday, saying any EU national who has been in Britain for five years will be eligible for "settled status." Applicants will have to show proof of identity and residence, disclose any criminal convictions and pay a fee of 65 pounds ($86) for adults.

Applications can be made by post, online or with an app — though it only works on Android devices, not iPhones.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the problem was "something we are discussing with Apple."

Trust in Britain's immigration department has been eroded by revelations that it wrongly branded thousands of long-term legal residents from the Caribbean as illegal immigrants.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes conceded the scale of the EU operation was a challenge, but said it should be fully functioning by March 30, 2019, the day after the U.K.'s exit. She said people would have until the end of June 2021 to apply for settled status.

Javid said the government's default position would be to approve, not reject, applicants.

"We will be looking to grant, not for reasons to refuse," he said.

You may also interested in

China says it can't end North Korea nuke program...

Sep 12, 2016

China says the United States has inflamed the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and must carry the...

China launches second space station, Tiangong 2

Sep 15, 2016

China has launched its second space station in a sign of the growing sophistication of its...

China plans 30,000-km high speed rail network by...

Dec 29, 2016

The Chinese government is planning to expand the country's high-speed rail network to 30,000...

Argentine soccer star Carlos Tevez signs $40M...

Dec 29, 2016

Argentine striker Carlos Tevez has signed to play for Shanghai Shenhua, becoming the latest in a...

Choked by smog, Beijing creates new environmental...

Jan 8, 2017

Officials in Beijing have announced a new environmental police squad to root out illegal burning in...

About Us

Frontal Report is an emerging leader in all forms of media. We aim to be the leading news brand for readers around the world.

Contact us: sales[at]frontalreport.com

Subscribe Now!