MORE than 2,000 people from European Union countries have been refused permission to stay in Wales after Brexit, figures reveal. 

Home Office data published for the first time, shows 2,110 people from Wales who applied to continue living in the UK by September 30 had their application rejected.  

Applicants can challenge a negative EU Settlement Scheme application by launching an appeal. 

But the3Million, which campaigns for EU citizens' rights, is concerned about the status of those who are left "in limbo" waiting for their appeals to be concluded. 

The EU Settlement scheme launched in March 2019 to regulate the immigration status of European citizens who live in the UK. 

Those who have lived in the UK for five years, and meet the criteria, can receive settled status and remain in the country indefinitely. 

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Others who have lived in the country for less time can receive pre-settled status, which allows them to remain for a further five years. They can later apply for settled status. 

The figures show that since applications opened, 96,620 people applied to continue living in Wales, with 91,420 granted permission to continue living in the UK by the end of September. 

Of them 55,220 (57 per cent) received settled status and 36,200 (37 per cent) pre-settled status. 

The percentage of applications refused was two per cent. 

Cardiff saw the highest number of applications with 23,150 and of those 470 were refused. The second highest number of applications, by local authority area, was 10,470 in Newport where 400 were refused. 

There were 8,940 applications from Swansea and 180 refused while 8,640 residents in Wrexham and 8,150 in Flintshire made applications with 160 and 210, respectively, refused. 

Across Wales the highest number of applications came from citizens of Poland with 29, 660 application made and 22,330 granted settled status and 6,160 pre-settled status. Of applicants from Poland 330 were refused. 

Those were followed by citizens of Romania 14,230 with 590 refused, Bulgaria 6,120 applications and 270 refused and Portugal with 6,070 applications and 110 refused. 

Of the more than 96,000 applications in Wales 15,550 were on behalf of those aged under 18 with 2,980 from people aged 65 or over. 

Of the 2,110 refusals 370 were children and 70 for those aged 65 or older. 

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Monique Hawkins, policy and research officer at the3million, said many people had lost their job or rental opportunity while waiting for application and appeal outcomes. 

She said: "Many people report not being able to get through to helplines, and find it next to impossible to get progress updates on their applications. 

"For those who have been refused, the administrative review and appeals process face their own lengthy delays. 

"We are extremely concerned about the length of time it is taking to unite people with their lawful status, and thereby their rights to continue living and working in the UK." 

Though the scheme officially closed on June 30, EU citizens with limited reasonable grounds for missing the deadline can still apply to secure their rights.  

The Home Office said people with a pending application, are protected while the outcome of their application is unknown. 

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A spokeswoman said the EU Settlement Scheme has been an "overwhelming success", with 6.3 million applications received and 5.5 million people being granted permission to stay so far. 

She added: “Caseworkers will always look for reasons to grant rather than refuse. 

"Individuals can be refused on eligibility or criminality grounds, and if a refused applicant disagrees with our decision, they can apply for an administrative review or appeal. 

“We have published non-exhaustive guidance on reasonable grounds for making a late EUSS application and take a flexible and pragmatic approach to considering them, and we’ve made millions of pounds available in funding for organisations to support vulnerable applicants.” 

Additional reporting: Federica Bedendo, Data Reporter

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