If you need support to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme help is available

Welcome to the Dorset wide EU Settlement Scheme homepage. The aim of this project has been to provide practical help and support to vulnerable EU citizens applying for ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-settled’ status under the new EU Settlement Scheme. The project has been funded by the Home Office who have put £9m of grant funding in place for organisations, such as ourselves, in order to reach and support vulnerable and at-risk people.  

It is free to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, however, the scheme has now closed and is only open to late applications where there are reasonable grounds for missing the deadline. Therefore, should you still need to apply – Do not delay as you may still be eligible to dependant on your reasons for being late to apply.

Providing Support for Vulnerable EU Citizens to Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme:-

EU Settlement Scheme Update 2021

The final deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme was the 30th June 2021. The Home Office states that anyone who applied by the June 30, 2021 “will have their existing rights protected” pending the outcome of their application.

“Even if they have not yet received confirmation of their pre or settled status, their rights to live and work in the UK are protected.” Christine Brienne, EUSS & Community Development Officer at the Dorset Race Equality Council.

EU/EEA citizens and their family members who were living in the UK by 31st December 2020 need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme protect their rights in the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

Anyone eligible who has applied on time will receive by email from the Home Office a Certificate of Application.

More than 5.6 million applications have been made to the EU Settlement Scheme throughout the UK.  In the Dorset area, including Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, over 35,000 applications have been successfully completed.

Our specialist Advisers have been working during lockdown, and will continue to provide support to late applicants up to the end of September this year. The rights of those who are eligible but have not applied to the scheme by 30th June will be challenged and removed until they submit an application – pending reasonable grounds for missing the deadline. Every late application will be considered on its individual merits.

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme has been introduced by the UK Home Office to ensure that EU, EEA or Swiss Citizens can easily apply for the right to continue living and working in the UK after 30th June 2021.

What is Citizens Advice Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole’s Role?

We have been working in partnership with Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC) to assist in delivering the EU Settlement Scheme across Dorset.

Our role has been to lead on the project and provide practical support to enable vulnerable client groups to apply for the scheme. Alongside DREC, we have been meeting and engaging with local communities about the project and accepting referrals for assistance from our Caseworkers.

Our advice is free. Our aim has been to make the application process as accessible as possible for all the clients we meet.

Making an application

You need to apply if:

  • You are an EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen
  • You are an EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen with a British Citizen family member
  • You’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen but your family member is
  • You are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen who does not need to apply, e.g. they are an Irish Citizen
  • You were born in the UK but are not a British Citizen
  • You have a UK permanent residence document

You do not need to apply if:

  • You have Indefinite Leave to Enter the UK
  • Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK
  • British or Irish Citizenship, including Dual Citizenship

What will happen after you apply:

Currently, your rights will remain the same until 31 December 2020. If you apply to the scheme successfully, you’ll be able to continue living and working in the UK after June 2021. You will be given either SETTLED status or PRE-SETTLED status. You will be awarded the status dependant on how long you have been living in the UK. Your rights will be different dependant on your status.

  • With SETTLED status, you will have been living in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, for at least 6 months of each year. (There are some exceptions to this which we can explore with clients). You will be able to stay in the UK as long as you like and can apply for British Citizenship if you are eligible.
  • With PRE-SETTLED status, you will have been living in the UK for anything less than 5 years.

With both Settled & Pre-Settled Status you will be able to

  • Stay in the UK for more than 3 months
  • Work or Study
  • Use the NHS
  • Claim the state pension
  • Rent a home

With Pre-Settled status only, you will lose the right to claim some means tested benefits such as Universal Credit. You will also be unable to get help with housing from the local council.

You can apply to the scheme online or using a smartphone. You will need:

  • Proof of your identity (a valid passport or biometric national identity/residence card)
  • Proof of residence in the UK (unless you have a valid permanent residence document. Usually your National Insurance number will suffice; if you do not have a NI number, alternative proof can be accepted)
  • To declare any Criminal Convictions

You can apply online at gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/applying-for-settled-status using any computer or an android smartphone. Alternatively, a paper form can be supplied in certain circumstances.

How can we support you?

Trained caseworkers can help support you with your application if you are unsure of how to apply. The type of support we provide includes:

  • Understanding your circumstances and helping you or your family member decide when and how to apply to the scheme
  • Providing contact and support throughout the application process using our smartphones and computers
  • Helping advise on documentation you may need to provide
  • If your circumstances are complex, we can refer your case to specialist Advisors with whom we have existing arrangements
  • Support with appeals or problem solving
  • Help with late applications
  • Helping you get in touch with our colleagues at Citizens Advice who can provide support with any other problems that may arise, such as benefits, housing, etc.

We will offer as much support as possible to make the application process accessible for all.

How to get in touch with us

There are many ways to contact our team if you need help.

Please contact us now for FREE help and advice:

  • You can be referred through our engagement team at DREC
  • You can call our Adviceline on 0808 2787 939 where you will first of all speak with a local Adviser who can refer you on to us
  • By phone/text to 07761 092704
  • You can also contact us at our email address, euss.advice@citizensadvicebcp.org.uk

Information Resources and Awareness

Bournemouth Echo, 29/06/21: https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/districts/poole/19407234.dorset-race-equality-council-explains-issues-eu-settlement-scheme/

Free Movement: https://www.freemovement.org.uk/eu-settlement-scheme-appeal-rights-introduced/

Gov.UK, Rights of Appeal: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/946780/rights-of-appeal-v10.pdf

Coventry City Council: What is the difference between Pre-Settled and Settled Status?

Dorset Race Equality Council (Race and Religion):
Promotes racial equality and tackles racial discrimination
Contact: enquiries@dorsetrec.org.uk
Call: 01202 392 954
http://www.dorsetrec.org.uk/
Gov.uk Home Office website giving more detail on staying in the UK after Brexit and the application process for the EU settlement scheme:
https://www.gov.uk/eusettledstatus
How to use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app