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Immigration: EU Nationals

Department for Exiting the European Union written question – answered on 20th January 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether funding has been allocated to local authorities to support vulnerable (a) homeless and (b) elderly EU citizens in applying for the EU Settlement Scheme by covering the costs of (i) new identity documents and (ii) travelling to embassies or consulates.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

The EU Settlement Scheme makes it easy for EU citizens and their family members who want to stay in the UK to get the UK immigration status they need. It is free to make an application to the scheme so that there is no financial barrier to anyone who wishes to stay.

Applicants will only need to complete three key steps - prove their identity, show that that they live in the UK and declare any criminal convictions. The Home Office will check the employment and benefits records the Government holds to establish their period of residence, meaning most applicants won’t need to do anything to evidence their residence. Where there are gaps, a wide variety of documents can be submitted as evidence, including a dated bank statement showing payments received or spending in the UK, a dated letter from a UK GP or indefinite leave to remain documentation.

There is also provision in the EU Settlement Scheme for applicants to apply without a valid identity document where they are unable to obtain one for compelling practical or compassionate reasons or due to circumstances beyond their control.

There is a wide range of support available online, over the phone and in person to help people apply. We have awarded £9 million this financial year to 57 voluntary and community sector organisations across the UK to help us reach an estimated 200,000 vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens and their family members.

Additional support is also available to those EU citizens in the UK who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to apply online. This includes over 300 assisted digital locations across the UK where people can be supported through their application. Since 30 March 2019, there have only been around 6,300 appointments for Assisted Digital support. It is one of several ways people can verify their identity, including by post. There are also over 80 locations where applicants can have their passport scanned and verified across the UK.

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