Immigration: EU Nationals

Home Office written question – answered on 13th April 2021.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Chief Secretary)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that EU citizens are able to access support to obtain their status through the EU Settlement Scheme by the deadline of 30 June 2021 in light of the disruption caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

We have worked extensively to promote awareness of the EUSS. The Home Office has already spent a total of £4.6 million on marketing campaigns to encourage those EU citizens and their family members who have not yet applied to do so. We recently launched a new £1.5 million wave of UK-wide advertising to ensure EU citizens and their family members are aware of the deadline and know they need to apply.

Guidance on how to apply and details of the support available to applicants (as it has been throughout the pandemic), is available through the EU Settlement Resolution Centre (SRC), which is open seven days a week to provide assistance over the telephone and by email. The SRC also provides a direct line for organisations working with vulnerable groups. In specific cases the SRC has the capacity to transfer customers to Assisted Digital for more bespoke support.

As well as the above process of “warm transfer” customers from SRC to our supplier We-Are-Digital (WAD), we signpost customers to our supplier WAD for the Assisted Digital service, which is available cost-free for customers who cannot access or struggle to use technology.

We remain committed to making sure everybody eligible for the EUSS can apply, including those who are vulnerable or need extra support. We have already awarded £17 million of funding to a network of now 72 organisations across the UK, to ensure important information and assistance gets through to those who are hardest to reach, and no one is left behind. These organisations have helped more than 250,000 vulnerable people to apply to the EUSS already.

In addition, we recently announced a further £4.5 million for the Grant Funded Network so it can continue to provide a wide range of invaluable support across the UK, including after the 30 June deadline, ensuring those most at-risk continue to get the help they need.

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