In the previous quarter, between September and December 2020, 168 applications were made, with only 60 between July and September, the lowest number in two decades.
However, the British Ministry of Labor and Pensions recommends “caution” as to how these values can be explained by the fact that the Govt-19 epidemic has disrupted its services.
“The impact of functional disruptions caused by the Govit-19 epidemic will be visible for some time in the annual data,” the quarterly data release warns today.
The Social Security Register is an indicator of a need to work and benefit from a social support system in the UK and is used to calculate population flows per country.
Restrictions on social distance activities and communication in closed spaces have suspended the National Insurance Number (NINO) operations for most applicants since mid-March 2020.
This impact was most felt among EU (EU) citizens, who did not need a visa to work in the UK until the end of 2020, but had to pass a face-to-face identity verification interview.
The British government justified the need to employ some staff to process grant applications at the height of the crisis, and that qualified individuals such as Europeans could begin working temporarily until they received a Social Security number.
However, the interviews were resumed via video call, and since April they have been face-to-face, allowing the Ministry of Labor to recover part of the delay accumulated in the previous 12 months.
Nevertheless, the 5,304 Portuguese who registered in British Social Security from March 2020 to March 2021 represent a 78% decline compared to the 23,925 registered in the previous period, from March 2019 to March 2020.
Overall, 72,495 Europeans were registered between March 2020 and March 2021, 83% less than in the previous 12 months.
At the end of the post-Brexit transition period, from January 1, European citizens ceased to enjoy the free movement to live and work in the UK, which required a work visa subject to a new immigration system.