A FRENCH woman who has lived in Worcester since 1987 says she found applying to stay in the UK after Brexit “a humiliating experience.”

Catherine Kevis says she felt like she had to jump through hoops and had various problems with the system, when she successfully applied last month.

After the referendum result the government said EU citizens should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after June 30, 2021. The current deadline for applying is June 30, 2021 but, if the UK left the EU without a deal, EU citizens would have until December 31, 2020.

Due to the political uncertainty Mrs Kevis said she took the decision to apply even though some of her French friends have not applied as a protest to Brexit.

She said: “My iPhone wouldn’t work so I ended up having to use my daughter’s android to do it. I applied on September 8, and got it granted on September 10. I know I’m lucky - one of my friends had to come from Cheltenham to Worcester to prove who she was. Whatever people think about Brexit, there are three million citizens that have to apply. It makes you feel like an alien.”

The 57-year-old Battenhall resident, who is chief executive of the YSS charity based in Blackpole, said she came to England when she was 18, “after falling in love with the country,” and moved to Worcester in 1987, raising three children and now having three great grandchildren.

Mrs Kevis said: “It is a humiliating experience. I have always worked, paid taxes, contributed to my local community. I understand it is a process, but you have to justify living here.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The EU Settlement Scheme makes it easy for EU citizens and their family members to get the UK immigration status they need.

“EU citizens can apply using any mobile device, laptop or tablet. The identity verification app is being tested on the Apple App Store for iPhone models 8 and above, and will be available on iPhone 7 and 7 Plus shortly.

“Anyone who needs help completing and submitting their application can call our helpline which is open seven days a week.”