04 Jul FINAL CALL TO EUROPEAN CITIZENS IN CORNWALL TO APPLY FOR SETTLEMENT STATUS
Citizens Advice Cornwall is making a last call for European citizens living in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to apply for the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme.
According to the latest government statistics, 17,390 people in Cornwall have applied for the EUSS with a further 140 from the Isles of Scilly.
Although the deadline for applications was 30 June 2021, late applications can still be submitted.
Citizens Advice Cornwall Chief Executive, Gill Pipkin, said:
“Time is fast running out for EUSS applicants but our team is available until September 2022 to help people with their applications.”
Citizens Advice Cornwall EUSS Adviser, Caroline Goodman, said:
“We are now coming across extremely vulnerable applicants, for example, homeless individuals, those who have physical and mental health issues, the elderly, those who do not have digital or language skills or have no internet access.”
The EUSS scheme is for EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens and their family members to obtain immigration status which allows them to continue to live, work, study, apply for benefits and use the NHS.
Failure to apply for the EUSS will impact European citizens’ rights to work, study and rent a property in England. Any European citizens who have not made an application maybe contacted by the Home Office Immigration Enforcement team and served with a written notice to apply within 28 days.
The Citizens Advice Cornwall EUSS team can help people with late applications, lost login-in details or joining family members and explain how to access the EUSS digital access system.
The Citizens Advice EUSS team offer independent, confidential and free advice on applications and can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Risk of Destitution and Homelessness
We recently helped a 52-year-old Czech woman, P, who had lived in Cornwall for 10 years. She was referred to EUSS team because she was at risk of destitution and homelessness. P. was always employed and renting when in the UK but because of the COVID-19 lockdown she lost her job in the hospitality sector. As a result, she had fallen behind on rent and was due to be evicted.
P. did not a valid passport or ID card and was not able to renew this at her consulate in London. As a result, she didn’t apply for settled status and was unable to work, rent or receive any benefits.
We have applied for settled status for P. and were able to ask for a faster outcome with the Home Office because she was at risk of destitution and homelessness.
P. now has full settled status. She is now working, living in secured accommodation and no longer has to worry about her future in the UK.
Another example of a late application was for a 45-year-old Bulgarian national who did apply before the deadline but was unaware any proof of residency in the UK before the end of free movement (31 December 2020) should have been uploaded. He also didn’t know he was refused status until he applied for a National Insurance number with our help. This client had little English and no digital skills so checking emails and uploading documents was impossible.
We were able to reapply for him and make a late application, uploading a payslip from 2020 to prove he was in the UK prior to 31 December 2020. K. is now able to work while still waiting for his pre-settled status outcome. He is now able to frequently check emails and anxiously waiting for a positive outcome. The EUSS team is able to provide updates and reassure those who are patiently waiting for status.
When K. obtains his status, the EUSS team will be able to explain the digital nature of status and how to view and prove his status online. This is going to be challenging for K. due to limited English and digital skills, however, the EUSS team provides tailored support to ensure everyone has access to their digital status and is able to prove it.
Lost access to digital status
L. approached EUSS team as he no longer had access to his digital status. L.’s application was submitted by an agent in Bulgaria. This agent used their own telephone number and email and refused to change this to L’s telephone number and email when L. was granted the status.
When submitting applications, applicants must provide their email and telephone number. If those are lost, it is then not possible to login, view and prove status.
As L. did not have language skills, he was not able to contact the Home Office helpline and explain his situation. L. was now desperate because he was not able to prove his status to employer despite having right to work in the UK.
The EUSS team was able to recover and update his login and contact details and explain how L. can view and prove his digital pre-settled status.
L. was extremely happy as he was now able to work and bring his children to the UK and connect them to his status.
Children born in the UK after June 2021
Baby K. was born in January 2022 in the UK. Both parents have Pre-Settled Status in the UK. Parents were not sure if the baby is British because she was born in the UK. The EUSS team was able to clarify that only those children born to those parents who have full settled status (lived in the UK for five years or longer) would be automatically British. In baby K’s case her parents needed to apply for pre-settled status under the EUSS.
The Cornwall EUSS team was able to arrange first passport appointment at a consulate in London for Baby K. and apply for status. A passport or ID card is required to apply to the EUSS and application for status must be submitted within 90 days since birth.
Baby K. is now waiting for Pre-Settled Status.
Total Number of EUSS Applications in Cornwall up to Jan 2022 (Home Office statistics). Figures for Isles of Scilly in brackets. Rounded to nearest 10.
Austria 70 (0)
Belgium – 90 (0)
Bulgaria – 1,790 (20)
Croatia – 30 (0)
Cyprus – 30 (0)
Czech Republic – 230 (10)
Denmark – 110 (0)
Estonia – 40 (0)
Finland – 70 (0)
France – 540 (<10)
Germany – 840 (<10)
Greece – 130 (0)
Hungary – 410 (20)
Iceland – (>10) (0)
Ireland – 20 (<10)
Italy – 630 (<10)
Latvia – 560 (<10)
Lichtenstein – 0 (0)
Lithuania – 1790 (<10)
Luxembourg – >10 (0)
Malta – 30 (0)
Netherlands – 420 (<10)
Norway – 80 (0)
Poland – 3,050 (30)
Portugal – 1,240 (<10)
Romania – 3,950 (10)
Slovakia – 220 (<10)
Slovenia – 10 (<10)
Spain – 570 (<10)
Sweden – 140 (0)
Switzerland – 90 (<10)
Non-EEA – 210 (0)