The UK government stated that EU citizens living in the UK will be issued with a formal 28-day notice if they have failed to apply for post-Brexit settled status within a week, according to The Guardian.
The notice will tell EU citizens to submit an application or risk consequences which include losing their rights to healthcare and employment.
With a week to go before the deadline (30 June), for the EU settlement scheme, the Home Office is redoubling efforts to reach those who do not know about the rule change, including vulnerable groups such as elderly people and children in care.
The countries whose nationals have made the highest numbers of applications are Poland (975,000) and Romania (918,000), according to BBC.
UK Immigration Minister, Kevin Foster explained it had ruled out extending the deadline despite a huge surge in applications, now running at 10,000 to 12,000 a day.
However, the Minister added that EU citizens who had failed to apply by the deadline would not see their social welfare benefits cut off from 1 July and promised that the Home Office would be flexible and lenient.
“To accommodate those who will not have a decision for months, the government will issue a ‘certificate of application’ which all applicants can rely on as proof to access their right to work or rent,” said Foster.
“It can also be used to access the NHS. People will not lose their benefits next week,” Foster told members of a House of Lords committee.
In a briefing to reporters on Tuesday, the Home Office said it would work with individuals to find out their reasons for not applying rather than deport them.
The flexible approach is not expected to be permanent, however, and under immigration rules EU citizens who make late applications will have to provide “reasonable grounds” for not applying.