News: Help in applying for the EU Settlement Scheme

Wales is home to thousands of EU citizens who enrich our communities and contribute to our public services and economic success immeasurably. They are our friends, our neighbour, our work colleagues and our family members. The impact here in Wales, in our community and our workplaces of EU citizens leaving the UK could be quite significant, and so we need to increase awareness of citizens’ rights and support them to remain here.

EU citizens and their families who have been continuously resident in the UK for five years until the end of 31 December 2020 may apply for settled status through the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme. They will continue to be able to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as they do now. Those who have not been continuously resident for under five years will be eligible for pre-settled status. They will also be able to work, study and access benefits and services on the same basis as now.

In July, the Welsh Government announced a package of free legal advice and support to help EU citizens prepare for Brexit and continue to live and work in Wales.

This package of support:

  • Offers support with applications and give advice on social welfare issues and workplace rights through the network of Citizens Advice throughout Wales;
  • Provides a free immigration advice service offering specialist support for complex cases, delivered by immigration legal specialists, Newfields Law;
  • Increases the provision of digital support centres in Wales – to help those without the digital means to apply for settled status;
  • Works with a range of charities and partners across Wales to raise awareness of the need to apply for settled status in hard-to-reach and vulnerable communities.

The EU Settlement Scheme in Wales website provides a clear picture of the free legal advice services being delivered in Wales.  http://www.eusswales.com/

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Patrick Downes

Third Sector Development Officer – IT Lead based in Pontypool

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