EU citizens and their family members who have been living in the UK since before 31 December 2020 and who want continue to live, work and study in the UK need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021. There are only 30 days left. Applying late may lead to the temporary loss of rights, like access to healthcare or the right to work. Not applying at all will lead to the permanent loss of these rights.
João Vale de Almeida, EU Ambassador to the United Kingdom said:
“It is encouraging that by the end of April 2021 around 5 million people have already applied to the scheme. But a high number of applications are still coming in. This suggests there may be many more citizens who need to apply. I urge everyone who may be eligible among my fellow EU citizens to apply and to apply on time. There are only 30 days left. EU citizens: please apply now. “
Following on from the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, freedom of movement ended on 31 December 2020. Those EU citizens and family members who arrived to the UK before this date, and who want to be protected by the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement to lawfully stay in the UK, need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. The consequences of not applying can be serious. In principle, people who do not apply at all will lose their rights to work, study, rent a home, access health care and social services or open a bank account. Those who apply late will temporarily lose these rights until such time as their status is granted.
Ambassador Vale de Almeida added:
“Whether you are an EU or UK national or of another nationality, please check whether your family members, friends and people in your community have already applied and urge them to submit an application if they haven’t. It does not matter how old or young you are, or how long you have been in this country. Parents need to apply on behalf of their children – even for babies. EU citizens who have been in the country for several decades need to apply too. I urge all EU nationals to apply before the deadline.”
Complementing the ongoing communication campaign of the UK authorities, the Delegation of the European Union in the UK together with the EU embassies and citizens’ support organisations continue extensive outreach activities, especially to those citizens who may need help with their application: the most vulnerable and those with complex backgrounds. Eligible citizens over 65 years, cared for citizens in assisted living or care homes, children in care, citizens who do not speak English or those who lack digital skills are particularly at risk of missing the deadline. This is why the Delegation has reached out to UK local authorities, universities, care homes and local community information providers offering our free services.
Since 2018 the European Union has helped deliver nearly 400 information sessions about EU citizens’ rights and the EU Settlement Scheme, directly assisting over 40,000 citizens and reaching over 7 million citizens via social media. As of February 2021, the Delegation has also offered free legal advice surgeries to individually help the most vulnerable and those with complex backgrounds. These sessions can be booked through local organisations via the www.eurights.uk website. The Delegation has also prepared several leaflets, which explain what citizens need to know. They are available in all EU languages and offer general information, as well as specific information for senior citizens, parents and children, non-EU family members and joining family members.