Thousands of British expats in four EU countries have been warned they could lose their residency rights if they don’t apply before a deadline in 30 days’ time.
UK nationals who live in France, Malta, Latvia and Luxembourg have until June 30 to apply for a new residence status after Brexit.
But an estimated 49,000 in France alone have not yet done so, according to a report produced at the end of April by a UK/EU joint committee.
Across the EU in general, it is estimated that 298,000 UK nationals and their family members need to apply – but more than 100,000 had notion so by April 26.
Several other countries have later deadlines, for instance the end of December.
Michaela Benson, a professor of public sociology at Lancaster University, warned expats risk “falling through the gaps”.
She told The Guardian: “That’s only a month to go before a hard deadline, after which a lot of people could lose their rights.
“We urgently need more communication – from the UK, the EU and member states – to get in touch, especially with hard-to-reach, vulnerable UK citizens who risk missing a vital cutoff point.”
It comes after a slew of reports about the hurdles facing British expats in Spain, who must visit a police station and in some cases the Immigration Office to obtain paperwork.
In France, expats must apply on a website, then make an appointment at a prefecture for fingerprints and photography.
It comes after UK ministers warned “time is running out” for EU citizens who were living in Britain before Brexit to apply for “settled status”.
The EU Settlement Scheme in the UK also has a June 30 deadline and has received more than 5.3million applications so far.
Of the 5million concluded applications 53% were granted settled status, 44% pre-settled status because they had not yet been in the UK for five years, and 55,950 applications have been refused.
The Home Office insisted thousands of people made two or even three applications, with 93% of repeat applicants having their status granted.