More advice available for EU citizens

EU CITIZENS who need help to complete their applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) can now get support from organisations in Liverpool.

Liverpool Citizens Advice and Migrant Help have both secured Home Office funding to offer guidance to hard-to-reach or vulnerable EU citizens and citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland who need help to complete their EUSS applications.

The two organisations are able to support people such as those who are:

·         Young and leaving care

·         Members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities

·         Ill or who have a disability

·         Elderly

·         Victims of domestic abuse

·         Victims of modern slavery and human trafficking

·         Homeless

People in Liverpool who would like advice from these organisations can find opening times and contact details through the council’s Brexit pages – www.liverpool.gov.uk/brexit  

People must apply through the EUSS to retain the rights that they currently have after the UK leaves the EU. They have until 31 December 2020 to apply to the EUSS if the UK leaves without a deal.

There is no charge to apply for settled and pre-settled status, and the majority of people will not need to pay a solicitor or advisor to make their application.

Most people will be able to apply through an app for Android devices that lets applicants scan their ID documents.

If applicants do not have access to an Android device and they do not want to post their documents Liverpool City Council offers a drop-in document scanning service at the city centre one-stop shop, St John’s Market, on Tuesdays from 9.45-11.45am.

There is a £14 fee for using this service which has been set by the Home Office.

Said Cllr Liz Parsons, cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: “It is great news that we have organisations in the city that can support people to complete their applications.

“Some people may be feeling anxious about applying, but the sooner they make contact with one of these organisations in Liverpool the sooner they can get guidance and most people have found the process straightforward to complete.

“Liverpool has always prided itself on being a welcoming and diverse city and it is very important to us that EU citizens who have made Liverpool their home can continue living, working and being part of our city.”

Cosi Doerfel-Hill, EUSS support officer from Citizens Advice Liverpool, said: “We are really pleased that our charity can support EU citizens who might otherwise struggle to complete these essential applications themselves.

“Our service is free, independent and confidential. Our team is ready to help anyone who needs practical assistance from the start to the finish of the process and we can contact the Home Office as well if that’s needed.

“We can also offer appointments at a range of different places across the city – so just give us a call or send us an email with your details and we’ll get back to you. Or if you work for an organisation that has contact with vulnerable EU citizens in Liverpool then we can consider making special arrangements to visit and complete a number of applications with people at the same session.”