According to the quarterly report with data up to the end of March, 376,440 applications were made by 3 March and 359,070 were completed, of which 203,310 were granted permanent residence status and 143,080 provisional residence status.
This figure does not directly correspond to the number of people, as the way the Home Office presents the data duplicates cases who made multiple applications, including those who first received provisional status (‘pre-settled status’) and then applied for permanent status (‘settled status’), awarded after five years of continuous residence in the country.
Those who have received provisional status will need to reapply when they complete their five years of residence in the United Kingdom, as promotion is not automatic.
The Portuguese Government estimates that the Portuguese community in the United Kingdom is around 400,000 people, taking into account the 375,000 people registered at consulates and the 335,000 who have a British address on their Citizen’s Card.
In the report, the Home Office estimates that of the 5.3 million applications made by all nationalities by 31 March, 6 percent were from repeat applicants (311,870), suggesting that some 4,963,560 people had signed up to the EU Citizens Registration Scheme (‘EU Settlement Scheme’) by 31 March.
Of the repeat applicants, 47 percent (147,660) moved from provisional to permanent status and 46 percent (143,180) received residence status after applications were initially rejected or invalidated.
By the end of March, 17,370 thousand applications from Portuguese nationals were awaiting an opinion and, of the applications processed, 3.5 percent (12,680) did not pass because they were withdrawn or annulled (5,300), considered invalid (4,990) or refused (2,390).
The Portuguese are the fourth nationality with the highest number of applications, behind Poles, Romanians and Italians.
In total, according to latest statistics, 5.42 million applications had been made to the post-Brexit EU citizenship registration system by 30 April, exceeding the roughly 3.5 million Europeans initially estimated to be living in the UK.
Citizens of EU countries, Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein and their close third-country family members have until 30 June to register and maintain residence and work rights and access to health, education and social support services.
Those who have proof that they were resident in the UK before 31 December 2020, when free movement ended with the end of the post-Brexit transition period, are eligible.
From 1 July resident status will be compulsory for situations such as applying for a job, opening a bank account or renting a house and those who are not in regular status will be considered illegal immigrants and will be subject to deportation to their country of origin.
Since 1 January a new immigration system was introduced that demands, among other requirements, a work contract, knowledge of the English language and a minimum salary.