10:46 GMT25 July 2021
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    LONDON (Sputnik) - UK immigration minister Kevin Foster warned on Wednesday that the government will not extend the June 30 deadline for the European citizens who have not applied for the post-Brexit right to remain in the UK.

    "I want to be clear - we will not be extending the deadline," Foster told reporters, adding that people have been given "plenty of time to apply."

    Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement signed between London and Brussels, EU citizens as well as nationals of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, already living in the UK have until June 30 to apply for permanent residence, otherwise they will lose their rights to work, rent a home or receive health care.

    According to Foster, who said that the Home Office had received over 5.6 million applications since the European Union Settlement Scheme was opened in May 2019, pushing the date back was not a solution, as it would only lead to more uncertainty.

    "Put simply, extending the deadline is not a solution in itself to reaching those people who have not yet applied and we would just be in a position further down the line where we would be asked to extend again, creating even more uncertainty," he stated.

    Campaigners have warned that thousands of European citizens who are vulnerable, old, homeless or rough sleepers could miss the government’s deadline.

    Foster said, however, that those with "reasonable grounds" for missing the deadline, which is due in one week’s time, would still be able to apply to the settlement scheme.

    He added that people whose applications have not been fully processed after June 30 will have access to a certificate while they await the decision from the immigration authorities.

    Tags:
    Brexit, EU, UK
    Community standardsDiscussion