Councils in the region come together to help EU citizens stay

11:01am - 16 June 2021
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With the deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme rapidly approaching, digital ad vans telling EU nationals we’d like them to stay can be seen around the region.

With the 30 June deadline to apply just two weeks away, the councils of Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Somerset have been working together to make sure every EU citizen who wants to stay living here is aware of the scheme and knows how to get help to apply if they need it.

The vans, which can be spotted throughout the West of England region, are just one of the ways councils are getting the message out to EU nationals, with all activity funded by the Avon and Somerset Local Resilience Forum (A&S LRF). You may hear radio ads on your community radio station, see posts on social media, or posters and translated postcards while out and about shopping.

Leaders in the region fear the pandemic may have prevented people getting help to apply if they need it, or delayed applications. There’s also concern that older EU nationals who have lived here most of their lives may not be aware they need to apply, or that parents may not know they need to apply for their children.

Chair of the LRF, Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Watson, said: “We are pleased to be providing this funding to the local authorities. We would urge everyone who is eligible for the scheme to apply ahead of the deadline at the end of June.”

As well as the boost from the LRF, the Home Office is working with other government departments, including DWP and HMRC, to identify and write to or text EU nationals about the need to apply.

The deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme is Wednesday 30 June. Apply and find help at www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme.