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Finns slowest to apply for post-Brexit residence permits

Just 44 percent of Finns living in the UK have filed for a new status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to choose which EU citizens may live in Britain. Image: Chine Nouvelle / AOP

Finnish citizens have so far been slowest to apply for new residence statuses to take effect after Britain leaves the EU on 31 January.

That is according to data published on Friday by the House of Commons Library, a research and information service based in the UK Parliament.

According to its report on the progress of the EU Settlement Scheme, just 44 percent of Finnish citizens in the country have registered to be assigned with either settled or pre-settled status.

The system, which was launched last March, applies to citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The ranking is based on estimates calculated by the Home Office.

Second slowest are Danes, of whom 48 percent have applied, followed by Maltese and Slovenians, with half so far filling out the forms. About 53 percent of EEA and Swiss citizens have done so.

Many Finns seek dual citizenship

Statistical Researcher Georgina Sturge, who authored the report, tells Yle she is not sure why so few Finns have applied. She speculates that it may be because an unusually large number of Finns have applied for dual citizenship, so are not reflected in these figures.

Sturge also points out that the figures are only estimates, with a significant margin of error.

Most people living in the UK based on rights derived from EU law will no longer have a legal right to reside in the UK after it leaves the Union. If they do not apply for the new status, they could become unlawfully resident in the UK. This also applies to family members of EU citizens who are not themselves UK or EU citizens.

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