To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking with (a) local authorities, (b) charities and (c) community groups to ensure European citizens in hard to reach communities are aware of the June 2021 deadline for applying for settled status for every member of their family.
27 May 2021
Since the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) opened in March 2019, the Home Office has undertaken a broad range of communications and stakeholder engagement activity to encourage EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members to apply for and obtain status. This has included targeted stakeholder engagement to reach hard to reach and vulnerable communities.
We are committed to making sure everybody eligible for the EUSS can apply, including those who are vulnerable or need extra support. We have awarded £22 million of funding to a network of now 72 charities and community organisations across the UK, to ensure important information and assistance gets through to those who are hardest to reach, and no one is left behind by the June 2021 deadline. These organisations have helped more than 250,000 vulnerable people to apply to the EUSS already.
Guidance on how to apply and details of the support available to applicants is available through the EU Settlement Resolution Centre (SRC), which is open seven days a week to provide assistance over the telephone and by email, and the SRC also provides a direct line for organisations, charities, social workers, and local authorities working with vulnerable groups.
The Home Office has been working very closely with organisations in local government to help deliver regular EUSS communications to vulnerable and hard to reach EU citizens.
Other government departments such as the Department for Health and Social Care, Department for Work and Pensions and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office are utilising their own networks engaging vulnerable EU citizens and helping to provide support for other organisations to promote EUSS.
The Home Office has also specifically engaged with gatekeeper organisations who work closely with vulnerable, harder to reach audiences including older people, children, and those in care to ensure as many citizens as possible apply to EUSS by the deadline. It has developed a suite of assets and resources for EU citizens including translated leaflets about the Settlement Scheme in all 26 EU languages, and Welsh, which are freely available on GOV.UK.
A comprehensive, multi-million-pound EUSS advertising campaign has increased awareness of the need to apply to EUSS for over two years, targeting EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their families.
As of 30 April 2021, 4.9m grants of status had been made. The Home Office urges anyone eligible for the EUSS to apply before the 30 June deadline to ensure their rights are protected following the end of the grace period.