The leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council has pledged the council’s commitment to helping EU nationals living in the area apply for UK immigration status.
Councillor Dine Romero, Bath & North East Somerset Council leader, said: “EU nationals are our family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours. You are part of our community and we want you to stay. We recognise it’s upsetting and stressful to have to ‘apply’ to stay in a country which is your home and which you had the right to come to under EU law. One way we can help is through our Digital Document Verification service to make the administration a little easier. This is available for anyone who needs to make an application for UK immigration status under the EU settlement scheme.
“We have information on our council website about how to apply and our Digital Document Verification service can assist with applications for settled and pre-settled status for EU nationals and their EU and non-EU family members, meaning citizens do not need to send their ID documents in support of their online application.”
The basis for qualifying for status under the scheme currently remains the same as proposed in a ‘deal’ or ‘no deal’ scenario and will be focused on residency in the UK. This means that any EU citizen or their family members living in the UK by 31 October 2019 will be eligible to apply under this scheme, to secure their status in UK law.
Under a ‘no deal’ scenario EU citizens or their family members resident in the UK by 31 October 2019, will have until 31 December 2020 to apply for settled and pre-settled status under the scheme. This is earlier than the stated 30 June 2021 outlined in the ‘deal’ scenario. Until the stated dates of 31 December 2020 or 30 June 2021, EU citizens will be able to rely on their passport or national identity card if they are asked to evidence their right to reside in the UK when applying for a job, as they do currently.
Under a ‘no deal’ scenario any EU citizen or their family members arriving in the UK after 31 October 2019 will not be eligible to apply under the current EU Settlement scheme and will need to apply for a European Temporary Leave to Remain (ETLR) which will allow individuals to stay in the UK for three years.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme allows EU nationals and their families to apply for the immigration status they will need to continue to live, work and study in the UK. This status means they can continue to be eligible for:
• public services, such as healthcare and schools
• public funds and pensions
• British citizenship, if you meet the requirements and want to apply.
EU nationals and their family members living in Bath & North East Somerset can book an appointment to use the Digital Document Verification Service for European Settlement as part of their application for settled or pre-settled status. The service offered by the council enables applicants to retain their passports/biometric residence cards instead of having to submit them to the Home Office.
The fee for the service is £14. Please call 01225 477234 between 9.30am – 4pm to arrange an appointment. To have the document verified in this way please do not start an application online before an appointment. For more details go to https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/births-marriages-and-deaths/citizenship/eu-settlement-scheme-document-verification-service
Application guidance can also be found on https://www.gov.uk/brexit