The deadline for EU citizens and their non-EU family members to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, and secure their right to live in the UK, is fast approaching. Applications must be submitted by 30 June 2021. They may lose their right to housing, work, healthcare, study, tax credits and other benefits, and ultimately their right to stay in the UK, if they fail to apply. It is important that ALL EU citizens in the UK are aware of the need to apply and, if required, receive help and guidance in making that application.
But even if they do, their plight may not be over. Many applications, in particular for non-EU spouses, are unresolved and have been so for many months. There are currently around 350,000 applications unresolved and it is unlikely that figure will have reduced much by 30 June. It will be almost impossible for those whose application has not been resolved to proof they have a right to stay in the UK after the deadline. It is hard enough for those who have pre-Settled or Settled Status, as they are not issued with a physical document as evidence of their status, but need access to the internet to provide proof in a digital format.
Those with pre-Settled Status will need to make an application for Settled Status if they want stay in the UK after the pre-Settled Status expires. If the application for pre-Settled Status was difficult for them, it will be so again when they apply for Settled Status. In short, many EU citizens will continue to need guidance and support to maintain their status and make sure their future rights and that of their family in the UK are secure.
Settled is one of the UK’s foremost agencies providing accredited guidance and advice free of charge. Its dedicated professional team works with network of trained and accredited volunteers, who are the first point of contact for most service users. Volunteers can deal with most basic enquiries and refer any complex cases to the staff team and/or partner organisations with the right skills and accreditation to assist further.
The volume of queries Settled and its partners receive has increased dramatically as the deadline for applications approaches and intends more volunteer support urgently, particularly in Wales. If you are interested in volunteering, please follow this link https://settled.org.uk/en/volunteer/ to find out more.