- Posted by: David Rees MS
- Category: News
There’s less than 30 days left for EU citizens to apply for settled status in the UK and those living in Wales are being urged to take-up the free support on offer from Welsh Government to complete their application.
The Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme offers EU, non-EU EEA and Swiss citizens, and their eligible family members the opportunity to protect their residency now the UK has left the EU.
The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is Wednesday 30 June 2021.
Since 2019, Welsh Government has offered a range of free support to help EU citizens to work and live in Wales. It also continues to provide free support and advice to help secure pre-settled or settled status.
This on-going support package includes:
- Digital support for settled status applications or help with basic queries about eligibility from Citizens Advice
- Advice on social welfare issues and workplace rights
- Free specialist immigration advice for people with complex needs, delivered by immigration law firm Newfields Law
- Outreach support for hard-to-reach and vulnerable groups.
Funding has recently been extended to ensure Newfields Law, Settled and Citizens Advice Cymru can continue to provide advice for EU citizens in Wales, particularly to vulnerable groups who may find the process of applying for settled status challenging.
Until the application deadline all EU, EEA or Swiss citizens will have the right to live and work in the UK, and will continue to be entitled to services such as healthcare, housing, education and voting.
EU Citizens must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme ahead of the 30 June deadline to ensure they remain legally resident in the UK and continue to have access to all the rights they are entitled.
Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, said:
“EU citizens living in Wales make an enormous contribution to our economy and society – you are welcome here.
“With less than 30 days left to apply for Settled Status, I really want to urge anyone who has not yet applied to do so. There’s lots of free support out there to help you, no matter your circumstance or where you are in Wales.
“We remain concerned about the number of vulnerable and older EU citizens who may not have applied yet. If you have a friend or family member who needs to apply, please help them to access the support available.”
Settled is one of the Welsh Government-funded organisations offering free support to EU citizens to make their applications.
Kate Smart, CEO of Settled, said:
“Every week thousands of people are reaching out to Settled for help with their EU Settlement Scheme applications. This includes many who have lived in the UK for decades, and are only just realising they must apply to the scheme.
“A large number of these long-term UK residents hold permanent residency cards and are incredibly worried.
“Our message is simple; don’t assume that this scheme doesn’t apply to you – check that your status is valid. Settled is here to help everyone who has issues with their EUSS application.”
Further information is available on the Welsh Government’s ‘Preparing Wales’ website.