Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles has urged people across Wales to help spread the word and ensure the tens of thousands of EU citizens living here are fully aware of their rights post-Brexit.
As latest Home Office figures for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) are published, the Counsel General believes we can all play a part in making sure all those who wish to stay in Wales are able to do so.
Mr Miles said:
Wales is home to thousands of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who are valued in our communities and contribute to our businesses and incredible public services every day. They are our friends, our neighbours and our work colleagues.
We want all EU citizens in Wales to be able to continue living and working here, so I am calling out to everyone who needs to apply to do so – and if you know someone you think might need to apply, who might not be aware, or understand - then please do them a favour and let them know about the scheme and how to apply.
I would also encourage people to take advantage of the additional support and services we are providing in Wales. This includes help with more complex cases, advice on your rights, and improved access to support – all of which I hope will help to encourage more people to apply, including those harder to reach groups.
Currently, all EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their families resident in the UK have at least until 31st December 2020 to apply to the scheme.
Settled Status will give EU citizens the right to live, work and study in the UK and the right to access services as they do now, after the UK leaves the EU.
Citizens who have been continuously resident for five years may apply for settled status. Those who have not been continuously resident for 5 years may apply for pre-settled status.
In July, Welsh Government announced a package of support for EU citizens with more complex needs or particular challenges, to help them with the application process
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
- 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.
Further information can be found at EU Citizens’ Immigration Advice Service.