Deadline Warning For Expats Running Out Of Time To Secure Post-Brexit Rights.
TENS of thousands of Brits living in EU countries risk being kicked out if they fail to register with authorities by the end of June.
British citizens residing in France, Malta, Luxembourg and Latvia have only until June 30 to register with authorities there in order to secure their post-Brexit rights. The Netherlands had the same deadline, but that has since been extended to October 1.
Failing to register could lead the expats to lose all of their basic rights and ultimately see them deported. Under the agreed Brexit withdrawal agreement, UK citizens that were legally resident in an EU country before December 31 last year are eligible for permanent residence.
A total of 14 EU countries, including Spain, Germany, Portugal, and Italy, adopted systems that automatically gave a new post-Brexit residence status to legally resident Britons- this meant there was no risk of losing rights if any administrative deadline was missed.
The remaining 13 states meanwhile require UK nationals to formally apply for their new residence status, including the four who set an earlier cut-off date of 30 June.
Michaela Benson, a professor of public sociology at Lancaster University, who has specialised in studying British residents in the EU, said to the Guardian: “That’s only a month to go before a hard deadline, after which a lot of people could lose their rights. We urgently need more communication – from the UK, the EU and member states – to get in touch, especially with hard-to-reach, vulnerable UK citizens who risk missing a vital cut-off point.”
Ms Benson said the people at risk of “falling through the gaps” were often the most vulnerable. She added: “Those who have stayed off the radar for whatever reason – maybe because they couldn’t prove they were lawfully resident when they had to.”
“The ones to worry about are those who are just scraping by, perhaps in remote areas. They are not likely to come forward of their own accord. There will also be homeless British people, sick British people, British children in care.”
The EU/UK joint committee on citizens’ rights estimates that 298,000 Britons live in the 13 countries requiring people to come forward and register, however, it is believed that only 190,000 have applied for their new status so far.
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