Less than 50 days left for EU citizens to apply to EU Settlement Scheme
There are now less than 50 days remaining for all European Citizens to secure their rights in the UK. All European citizens living in the UK must apply for either Settled or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Settled is concerned that thousands of people, some of which have lived in the UK for decades, will miss the June 30th deadline.
They will lose their rights to housing, benefits, healthcare and ultimately could be removed from the country. Settled has helped more than ten thousand Europeans with their applications to gain Settled or Pre-Settled Status over the last month.
- Settled is still receiving high volumes of requests for help with EU Settlement Scheme applications, with just 50 days left to apply
- Many still don’t realise they need to apply and face losing their rights on a scale never before seen
- Some applicants do not have the documents required to apply, including babies and young children
- Embassies facing major backlogs for renewals of passports and other ID documents
- Lack of awareness among UK authorities and employers
Calls for help
Settled is receiving hundreds of requests per day for help with EU Settlement Scheme applications, some from worried EU citizens struggling to complete their applications. Many requests are from those who have only just heard about the scheme.
We believe there are tens of thousands of people who are eligible for Settled or Pre-Settled Status, but have not applied to the scheme. They risk their status in the country becoming illegal on July 1 2021. Without Settled or Pre-Settled Status, Europeans residing in the UK will lose their rights to:
- State benefits (including pension)
- Residency in the UK
Securing (pre-)Settled Status
There are numerous reasons why so many have not yet secured their Settled or Pre-Settled Status and possibly won’t do so before the June 30 deadline.
Settled’s dedicated team of more than 100 volunteers is finding hundreds of people each week who had not heard of the EU Settlement Scheme. They may be digitally-illiterate, living in hard-to-reach or rural communities, or their English may not be strong enough to understand the legislation that followed the Brexit vote.
The Settled team is also supporting people who do not have the necessary documents needed to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme – a passport or national identification card. This is particularly a problem for babies and small children. They are not counted under parental applications. Embassies are experiencing long delays and backlogs, as Covid-19 travel restrictions impeded many from travelling back to their country of origin to renew their documents.
There is also a worrying lack of awareness among UK authorities, employers and other key stakeholders about the scheme. Many of the people who will be punished for employing those who do not have the right to work in the country, are not aware of the scheme and its implications.
By mid-May, we would have expected the number of people we’re helping to have started to decline. Instead, our services are required more than ever. They will continue to be after the June 30 deadline.
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