In the United Kingdom, many thousands of Europeans are probably on the verge of becoming illegal immigrants. Last year, the country left the European Union, and EU citizens wishing to stay were given until June 30 to apply for special residence status.
EU citizens who fail to apply for residency status in time can run into problems when they look for work, rent housing or go to the hospital for treatment. The opposition has called for the deadline to be moved, but the government does not want to hear about it.
The authorities have so far received 5.6 million applications from EU citizens. About 400,000 of those applications have yet to be processed, the BBC writes. Ministers have promised that the rights of people who apply in time will be protected during the waiting period.
Experts believe that tens or even hundreds of thousands of EU citizens will no longer have valid residence status as of Thursday, according to the BBC. This probably includes a large group of children whose parents do not realize that they also need to be registered.
Europeans complain in the media that they are struggling with the application process. For example, sky News writes that some EU citizens find it so stressful that it gives them suicidal tendencies.
A man from Hungary told the radio that problems arose because his wife’s identity card had expired. “With my kids, the problem was that they don’t have any ID at all,” he said. “They are now sending me a 39-page form that we have to mail back.”