According to the British Ministry of Labour, in 2021 13,551 Portuguese had registered for Social Security, a requirement to be able to work or receive social support in the country and an indicator used to calculate demographic flows for the country.
Despite marking the end of freedom of movement for Europeans in the United Kingdom and the entry into force of new, stricter immigration rules, the year 2021 saw an increase compared to 2020.
In 2020, marked by successive lockdowns in Portugal and the United Kingdom due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only 6,664 Portuguese registered with British Social Security.
Since 2016, the year in which 52% of British voters voted in a referendum in favour of leaving the European Union ('Brexit'), European immigration has dropped sharply from a peak of 32,301 registrations in 2015.
Currently, European citizens are subject to a new immigration system that requires a work visa and certain conditions, such as a contract, minimum wage and minimum knowledge of the English language.
The Portuguese community in the UK is estimated to be around 400,000 people, most of whom settled in the 2010s as a result of the wave of emigration caused by the financial crisis.
Statistics from the British Ministry of Labour show that around 226,000 Portuguese registered between 2011 and 2019 with British Social Security.
Figures updated today by the Ministry of the Interior on the European Union Citizens Registration System (EU Settlement Scheme, EUSS) account for 462,490 applications by Portuguese citizens by the end of 2022 to obtain a residence permit, mandatory in the post-'Brexit' regime .
Of these, 256,570 Portuguese received a permanent residence permit ('settled status'), 165,820 a provisional title ('pre-settled status') and 40,290 had their processes rejected or invalidated.
The number of applications is not equivalent to the number of Portuguese residents in the United Kingdom, as some are repeated due to the need to appeal or to change from provisional to permanent status.