17,000 EU nationals have applied for settled status in Jersey - and any who haven't only have until close of play today to apply.
When the UK left the European Union at the end of last year, EU nationals lost their automatic right to live and work in Jersey, and vice versa.
But as part of the divorce agreement, those holding an EU passport already established in Jersey could stay, providing they could prove their residency.
The deadline for applying for that status is today.
After today, EU nationals known to the authorities but who haven’t applied will be given 28 days to do so.
Pictured: Customs and Immigration is processing around 500 applications a week currently.
Late applications will be assessed against “reasonable grounds” for missing the deadline. Those who fail to make an application within the timeframe, or whose applications are refused, will be liable for removal from the island.
Luke Goddard, Custom’s Acting Director of Immigration and Nationality, said: “We are pleased that over 17,000 members of the island's EU community have so far applied to the EU Settlement Scheme. I encourage any resident EU national who has not yet applied, to do so immediately in order to protect their rights to continue to live and work in Jersey.”
Customs and Immigration is currently processing around 500 applications a week, which is expected to take several months to complete.
The service says that applicants who have been asked for further information, or who have not been granted status, should check their emails for correspondence, especially any spam folders.
Because EU nationals were free to come and go before 1 January, it is not known precisely how many live in the island.
Newly appointed Home Affairs Minister Gregory Guida said: “Estimates three years ago indicate that there may be up to 20,000 EU nationals in Jersey but at the last census in 2011 we counted 13,000 EU nationals who had been born outside of Jersey, who could have to apply for settled status. That doesn’t include the 1,300 Irish EU nationals, who do not need to apply.
“That 20,000 is an ‘absolute worst case’ scenario. Three years since we launched the scheme, we are very likely to have pretty much reached all of the EU citizens in the island.”
Deputy Guida said that “with any luck” the scheme will capture every EU national living in Jersey, so no one will have to be removed against their will.
Since November, islanders have been encouraged to apply online if they can.
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