An estimated 3.8 million EU nationals were living in the United Kingdom in 2017. Those wishing to stay and work in the country after it exits the European Union have to apply for settled status.
"We have about 4,000 people eligible to go through the process — and 1,000 actually did but that was the case of making an appointment," she told the Commons Home Affairs Committee.
London will "turn off" EU citizens’ right to free movement when it quits next year on March 29. Nokes said EU citizens would not have an automatic right to work if no deal on that is reached with Brussels.
In case of a no-deal Brexit, UK employers will have to do right-to-work checks to make sure that the person they are hiring had gone through a mandatory registration, she added.
The migration official admitted it would be "almost impossible" for the government post-March to differentiate between new arrivals and those who had not yet confirmed their settled status.