EU nationals living in the borough risk not being able to remain in the UK if they do not apply for settled status by the 31st June 2021.
Government figures show that 19,830 Richmond residents have submitted a European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) application and, of these, 18,680 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 deadline to apply is the 30 June 2021. Those who have not applied by the deadline will lose their legal rights to live, work and access benefits in the UK.
Leader of Richmond Council, Cllr Gareth Roberts, said:
“We deeply value the contribution made by European residents to our borough. They are our colleagues and our friends and we want them to choose Richmond upon Thames as their forever home.
“There are now just under three months to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and I urge everyone to do this as soon as possible - please do not leave it until the last minute. At the moment EU nationals have the same rights as before, but for this to continue after 30 June you must apply to the EUSS.
“For most people it is quick to apply using the app, but if you have any questions or you need support please contact Citizens Advice. They are the commissioned service to offer support in Richmond upon Thames and have dedicated workers who can give advice.”
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
– from a Richmond Council press release - 3 March 2021