Many thousands of EU nationals based in Richmond have applied to remain in the UK under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS), but as today marks the one-year countdown to apply, Richmond Council reports that there are still many more who are yet to start the process.
Government figures show that 14,560 Richmond residents have submitted an EUSS application and, of these, 13,560 have been concluded. However, the Council believes that there are still many people who are eligible for the EUSS who are yet to apply, in particular vulnerable citizens such as older people and non-EEA nationals.
The Council is urging all residents from EU countries and eligible non-EEA nationals who want to stay in the UK to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible.
Leader of Richmond Council, Cllr Gareth Roberts, said:
“Many of our friends and neighbours may have been born outside of Richmond upon Thames, but they’ve put down roots and helped to make this a great place for families. We want them to continue to contribute, and we are doing all we can to encourage our residents who are EU nationals to fill out the paperwork so that they can enjoy living here with their families.”
The Government have said that all EU nationals must apply for Settled Status to keep their right to remain in the country and secure their rights to vote, get free medical care and welfare benefits.
EU nationals carry out many important jobs that benefit the borough’s economy and have close personal relationships with British citizens living in the borough. The Council is therefore concerned about the impact on the local community if many of them do not receive full settled status. The Council is also appealing for local employers, the voluntary sector, schools and colleges to encourage any EU or eligible non-EEA nationals in their networks to apply. Whilst there are high profile campaigns both locally and nationally to raise awareness of the EUSS, many will only hear about it through word of mouth.
The deadline to apply is 30 June 2021.
Cllr Roberts, added:
“We don’t want our neighbours and loved ones to lose the right to remain here, their right to vote or their rights to free medical care and welfare benefits and are offering free specialist advice services to support those who need help with their application.
“They have helped make our borough a great place for everyone to live in, and it is only right that we are here to help them when they need it too.”
– from a Richmond Council press release - 30 June 2020