European nationals living in Richmond upon Thames are now able to use a new Passport Return Service available at the Council’s register office.
Last year, Richmond Council agreed a package of measures to support the borough’s European residents in light of the Government’s overall plans to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK, once the country leaves the EU.
As a result, the Council has now established a new European Passport Return Service (EPRS). This is specifically for EU residents applying for a registration certificate or a document certifying permanent residence.
This new service enables eligible residents to bring their passports to the Register Office in Twickenham to be verified and copied. The Council will then send copies to the Home Office. The benefits of this service is that applicants can keep hold of their passports while their application is being considered.
It is open to any European Ecomonic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals, once they have applied online to the Home Office.
A new local EU advice service will also launch this spring launch through Citizens Advice Richmond. This will enable EU residents to get impartial, expert advice on nationality matters or the impact of the Government’s proposals and options available for them.
Cllr Paul Hodgins, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“The last census showed us that there are nearly 13,000 EU passport holders living in the borough, with an additional 4,000 Irish passport holders.
“All of these residents are valued members of our community. They contribute greatly to our borough. I know that many of them are worried about what the future will hold.
“Whilst local councils don’t have a say in the future process of leaving Europe, we can try, where possible, to make things easier for residents. Therefore, I hope that this passport service will provide some support to those applying for permanent residency or a registration certificate.”
For more information, go to: www.richmond.gov.uk/european_passport_return_service
— from a Richmond Council press release - 12 February 2018