Registering EU Citizens In UK Is Equivalent To ‘140 Years’ Work
Securing the right to residency for EU migrants living in the UK is the equivalent of “around 140 years’ worth of work” for the government, according to a migration think tank.
The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said there were more than three million EU migrants living in the UK which poses a “complex” task for the government to protect their long-term status, should they decide to end free movement.
According to the think-tank’s report entitled “Here today, gone tomorrow? The status of EU citizens already living in the UK”, if all the EU migrants currently living in the UK applied for permanent residence at once this would: “represent the equivalent of around 140 years’ worth of work at recent rates of processing for this type of application”.
The report acknowledges that if this were the case a “large and dedicated team would be expected to take this process on” but added: “these figures illustrate the scale of the administrative challenge ahead.”
Madeleine Sumption, Migration Observatory director, said: “Depending on how long Brexit negotiations take, the government may need to register EU citizens already living here quite quickly.
“Given the sheer number of EU citizens who would need to register and the potential complexity of the process, this will be a formidable task.”
The report said over the last five years the government had been processing an average of 25,500 permanent residence applications per year from EEA citizens and their family members.