More than 435,000 Romanians in Britain have applied for residence status before the country leaves the European Union on Jan. 31, a news agency reported.
Romanians are the second largest group of EU citizens in Britain after Poles of which some 512,000 have applied for residence, Mediafax reported, quoting Britain’s Press Association.
Italians are the third largest group, with 291,000 applying to settle in the UK, PA reported. The three countries constitute the majority of European Union citizens living in the UK, along with large numbers of Germans, French and Irish.
Romanians have become the biggest community from an EU member state in the capital London, with an estimated 163,000 living there. Other Romanians live in Birmingham and in eastern parts of the UK.
Currently, all 3.5 million EU citizens who live in Britain must complete an online application, which grants them either a ”Settled” or ”Pre-settled” status, and offers them the right of indefinite leave to remain in the country and enjoy the very same rights as they did before Brexit.
Additionally, all the members of their families are also granted the same right, even if they are not actually resident in the United Kingdom.
The deadline for individuals to register in the Settlement Scheme is December 31, 2020.
Currently, more than 2.7 million EU citizens have already applied and have been granted either Settled or Pre-settled status.
The revelation was made public by MEP Guy Verhofstadt, who is the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, and the report was verified by other British officials.
Verhofstadt, who met with a number of British ministers on Thursday, spoke with the BBC Radio 4’s ”Today” program on Friday and said he was reassured by the British authorities that the UK would not deport any EU citizen who has not been registered in the ”EU Settlement Scheme.”
However, approximately 800,000 individuals have not registered yet, which raises questions about their legal status in the UK in the following months.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will leave the European Union on January 31, at 23:00 GMT; however, the UK will continue to follow all EU laws at least until December 31, 2020.