The Independent hosts ‘Ask Me Anything’ on EU settlement scheme live

The Independent hosts ‘Ask Me Anything’ on EU settlement scheme live
On deadline day for EU nationals to apply to retain residency in the UK following Brexit, get involved with our latest ‘AMA’ and have your key questions answered by our social affairs correspondent

Midnight tonight (30 June) is the deadline for EU and EEA nationals and their family members in the UK to apply to the EU settlement scheme.

The scheme opened in March 2019 and has seen more than 5.6 million people apply, with 5.2 million so far concluded – numbers far higher than the government initially envisaged.

Ministers have lauded the scheme as a “huge success”, but there are widespread concerns that many people – an unknown number – have not yet applied.

This could be because they simply don’t know they need to apply or they have struggled to get assistance to make an application – particularly if they have only discovered at a late stage that they must apply.

Either way, they will suddenly lose their residency rights at strike of midnight tonight.

The EU settlement scheme opened in March 2019 and required all EU and EEA nationals and their family members living in Britain to apply by midnight on Wednesday in order to maintain their rights in the UK after Brexit. More than 5.6 million people have applied.

Unfortunately, given that no one – including government – knows how many eligible EU and EEA nationals there are in Britain, it is impossible to know how many will fail to apply.

The government has been keen to reiterate that l those who have “reasonable grounds” for missing the deadline will be permitted to make a late application, and that caseworkers will take a “flexible” approach to these cases.

But experts warn that many may not realise they need to apply until they are denied access to services – such as employment or a tenancy – and that even once they make a late application, their rights will be limited until they are granted settlement.

To find out what other people are saying and join the conversation scroll down for the comments section or click here for our most commented on articles 

There are also concerns that the more than 400,000 people who are still waiting for an outcome on their applications will struggle to access basic services.

To help with some of the unknowns around the scheme and its hard deadline, social affairs correspondent May Bulman is on hand to answer your questions.

If you have a question, submit it now, or when they join you live at 4pm on Wednesday (30 June). All you have to do is register to submit your question in the comments below.

If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the comments box to leave your question. Don’t worry if you can’t see your question – they will be hidden until the event begins at 4pm. Then join us live on this page at as they tackle as many questions as they can.

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