ADVICE NI IS CALLING ON all relatives and carers of elderly and vulnerable EU, EEA or Swiss citizens living in Northern Ireland to help them make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme before the deadline of the 30 June 2021, and to contact Advice NI for free assistance if they need it.
The EU Settlement Scheme gives immigration status to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, allowing them the right to continue living and working in the UK. Successful applicants will receive either settled or pre-settled status, which means they will be able to:
- Work in the UK.
- Continue using the NHS for free.
- Enrol in education or continue studying.
- Access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if eligible for them.
- Travel in and out of the UK.
There have been over 5.4 million applications to the scheme to date, with over 88,600 applications coming from Northern Ireland. Currently, there is an under-representation of applications from older people and those deemed to be vulnerable, and people who may be digitally excluded applying to the scheme in Northern Ireland.
Fiona Magee, Deputy Chief Executive of Advice NI said: “We are urging relatives and carers of elderly and vulnerable EU Citizens living in Northern Ireland who haven’t already applied to the scheme to contact us immediately to help them to apply.
“It is vital that no eligible EU Citizen loses out on the ability to continue to work, [or] access health services as a result of not completing the EUSS application prior to the deadline. We have a dedicated FREEPHONE number 0800 915 4604 with OISC level 3 trained advisers who have supported lots of people from different nationalities to make the application and secure their status. There is no fee for completing the application and all Advice NI services are free to the public. We aim to assist anyone who needs to apply to the scheme to gain either settled or pre-settled status and are calling on anyone who knows, works with or lives beside an EU Citizens [sic] to let them know of our service and the need to apply before the 30 June 2021.
“With only one month left to apply for the scheme, those living in NI must seek advice on what they need to do and act now to allow time to obtain the relevant documents required.”
The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch said: “I would strongly urge any family members and carers of any older EU nationals who are living in Northern Ireland, to make sure their loved ones apply to the EU settlement scheme before the deadline of 30 June. It is essential this is completed in order to gain either settled or pre-settled status and to ensure those older people do not lose their right to continue living in the UK. I believe there may be many older people who this applies to who are not aware of the deadline or the consequences of not applying.
“I would encourage older people to make use of Advice NI’s freephone number which is a valuable resource, providing support to people who need assistance with completing the application.”
* Advice NI is the umbrella body for the Independent Advice Network in Northern Ireland. It provides a free multi-lingual service for the EU Settlement Scheme, and can provide assistance with proof of identity, eligibility and suitability as well as completing the online application. Telephone 0800 915 4604.
* Source: Advice NI