This story has been amended since its first publication.

A COUNCILLOR who has lived in the UK for 19 years, is married to a British man and has two British children, has raised concern that she is not being automatically granted settled status.*

Maggie Filipova-Rivers is still to fully apply for the status, but said the fact that people like her were not granted it automatically showed problems with the Home Office’s system.

EU citizens – along with those from other nations – can apply as part of the EU Settlement Scheme to continue to live in the UK after June 30, 2021.

The Home Office said it wants to admit as many people as possible and believes its system is quick and simple to complete.

Liberal Democrat Ms Filipova-Rivers, who was elected to South Oxfordshire District Council in May, said she was ‘angry’ about the way EU nationals were being treated though was confident her case would be sorted eventually.

She said she is currently seeking legal advice to secure settled status.

Originally from Bulgaria, she said she is concerned about how other EU nationals currently living in the UK will fare.

She said: “The biggest worry for me is that there is a huge danger for people who are economically inactive or those who have studied for a long time.

“A lot of us come [to the UK] as students.”

READ MORE: European Union Settlement Scheme help for Oxfordshire residents

The microeconomist said: “Settled status can work – if you came here five years ago and worked for an employer and they paid tax on your behalf.

“Many people will not be in that position. If you think about that skill spectrum, a lot are on zero-hour contracts or in the construction sector and some might be casually employed.

“I’m not worried [for myself]. I’m angry, I realise the implications. I can access legal advice – but that comes at a cost. I, most likely, will be absolutely fine but it’s the journey that I’m on [with other EU nationals].”

The councillor, who is currently South Oxfordshire District Council’s cabinet member for community services, arrived in the UK to take her A-Levels, before studying at Newcastle University.

She said she worries EU citizens will ‘face barriers’ doing everyday activities – such as getting a job, opening a bank account or renting a home – if they do not gain settled status in the future.

Last week, the chancellor Sajid Javid said there ‘shouldn’t be a single person that should be concerned about their status’ after Brexit.

The current scheme was launched in March for EU nationals living here to establish a permanent right to stay.

But people being given pre-settled status increased in July.

READ AGAIN: Oxfordshire councillor's concern for EU residents' legal rights

New home secretary Priti Patel said last month that freedom of movement for EU residents would end on October 31, the planned date for Brexit.

But with that date now uncertain, she reversed that policy last week and said EU migrants will be given three years’ temporary leave to remain.

Experts had reportedly warned the government such a deadline would have been impossible to implement.

Another South Oxfordshire district councillor, Alexandrine Kantor, will propose a motion at a forthcoming council meeting to help EU nationals.

The Wheatley councillor said the motion will ‘seek to mitigate the negative impacts of Brexit on EU nationals living across [South Oxfordshire].’

Ms Kantor, who is French, said: “EU nationals are part of our shared communities. They are our husbands, wives, parents, friends and colleagues. They are an integral part of a vibrant and thriving South Oxfordshire.

“If the motion passes, it will seek ways to reach and help EU citizens, as well as reach and informing local businesses about the EU settled status to mitigate risks of discrimination.”

A Home Office spokesperson said in a statement: "Ms Filipova-Rivers cannot have been denied settled status because she is yet to make an application. We would encourage her to contact the Resolution Centre if she is struggling to complete the quick and easy application process.

"Nobody applying to the EU Settlement Scheme has been granted pre-settled status without first being offered the opportunity to submit evidence that they qualify for settled status.

"The Scheme has been deliberately designed to be as accepting as possible and our caseworkers are looking for reasons to accept. Applicants do not need to have been in work or paying tax and only need to demonstrate that they have been resident in the country before 31 October 2019."

*Yesterday, we said Maggie Filipova-Rivers had been denied settled status. The Home Office said it is yet to receive an application from her. We are happy to make this clear.