TENS of thousands of EU nationals have been granted permission to stay in Southampton following Brexit.

Home Office data shows 36,080 EU citizens had successfully applied to continue living in the city by June 30 – the deadline for new applications.

Between the launch of the Settlement Scheme in March 29 and the deadline, a total of 37,730 applications were dealt with in the city, with 20,260 people granted settled status and 15,820 pre-settled status.

Around ​1,660 applications were either refused, withdrawn, or invalid.

The highest number of applications received came from Poland (15,570), Romania (6,910) and Portugal (3,330) nationals.

But a spokesman for The3Million, which campaigns for EU citizens' rights, says the group is concerned for the hundreds of thousands of people who are still waiting to find out if they can continue living in a post-Brexit UK.

They said: "This backlog is unlikely to be cleared anytime soon, given the slowing pace of decision making.

"The scheme will also continue to receive new applications from vulnerable citizens who missed the deadline, as well as those upgrading from pre-settled to settled status and from joining family members.

"It is therefore crucial the Government commits to a long-term plan to support all applicants."

EU citizens with limited reasonable grounds for missing the June deadline can still apply to secure their rights.

Those who have lived in the UK for five years and meet the criteria, can receive settled status and remain in the country indefinitely.

Others who have lived in the country for less time can receive pre-settled status, which allows them to remain for a further five years. They can later apply for settled status.

Some citizens who are not from the European Economic Area, may also qualify for the scheme, for example if they are family members of EU citizens living in the UK.