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EU citizens urged to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme

Friday, November 06, 2020

Oxford’s EU citizens are urged to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme before the deadline of 30 June 2021, and to contact the Europa Welcome service if they need help with their application.

Those who have not applied by the deadline will lose their legal rights to live, work and access benefits in the UK. 

Europa Welcome service offers help

Oxford charity Asylum Welcome has secured a new contract with the Home Office to continue its Europa Welcome service, supporting vulnerable EU Citizens to make their application. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens need to have applied for settled status by the deadline.

The Europa Welcome service, working together with Oxford City Council and other partner and community organisations, has already helped many make successful applications since June 2019.

Trained and dedicated volunteers, supported by an experienced lawyer, guide clients through the process from start to finish. The team can provide independent and confidential advice with EUSS applications. Europa Welcome offers face-to-face appointments under COVID-safe conditions and video appointments. Translation is available if needed.

How to get support

Staff and volunteers at Europa Welcome are available Mondays to Thursdays for clients and organisations supporting them to get in touch, for email or phone advice, or to make an appointment for help with EUSS applications. Further information about this service is on the Asylum Welcome website. You can also contact them on 07719128054 or by email europawelcome@asylum-welcome.org.

 

EU Settlement Scheme deadlines

Under the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement the vast majority of the estimated 17,500 EU citizens living in Oxford must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021. Those who fail to do so, barring some exceptions, will become unlawfully resident in the UK. The process is designed to be simple and easily accessible, but some people have more complex issues.

Under the EUSS, which is free to apply to, applicants who have lived in the UK for five years or more will be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain, also known as ‘Settled Status’. Those with less than five years will be granted Limited Leave to Remain, also known as ‘Pre-Settled Status’. Family members of EU citizens are also eligible to apply, even if they themselves are not EU citizens.

 

Councillor Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, Oxford City Council Migrant Champion, said:

 

“This has been a hugely distressing time for many of our residents who have had to deal with the uncertainty around their rights to live, work and access services in their home city of Oxford, as well as the horrible challenges of a pandemic. The pandemic has proven that we are only as safe as our most vulnerable neighbour. Settled status will give many of our colleagues and neighbours much needed reassurance and the safety nets we all need at this time.

 

“Asylum Welcome’s Europa service working in conjunction with Oxford City Council, will continue to provide an invaluable service not just by guiding our neighbours through this process, but by expanding the net of safety needed by us all. Please get in touch with them if you are finding that the whole process of applying for the settlement scheme is causing worries and sleepless nights.”

 

Mark Goldring, Director of Asylum Welcome, said:

“We have already helped over 800 applicants, and we know that this has brought them huge reassurance about their status in the United Kingdom after Brexit – giving them real security about their right to work and access benefits in these uncertain times. The time to act if you have not already done so, is now. 

“We know that the pandemic has already introduced some complexity and delays into the process and so we really do urge people to get in touch with us as we are here to help.”

Dr. Ruvi Ziegler, Oxford European Association, said:

“As Oxford's residents EU citizens have made invaluable contributions to the culture, prosperity, and success of Oxford.  It is incumbent on all stakeholders, the Government and all employers, institutions and local authorities to ensure that EU citizens are made aware through all available channels of the 30 June 2021 EUSS application deadline.”

ENDS 

 

Notes to editors

More information on the EU settlement scheme www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

 

Asylum Welcome is an Oxfordshire charity that tackles suffering and isolation among asylum seekers, refugees, detainees and vulnerable migrants who have fled persecution and danger in their own countries who are seeking refuge in Oxford and Oxfordshire.

 

For more information contact:

Nazan Ozgur, Europa Welcome Project Manager at Asylum Welcome, can be contacted on 07719128054 or email nazan@asylum-welcome.org 

 

Oxford City Council Press Office can be contacted on 01865 252096 or by email at: pressoffice@oxford.gov.uk