The Home Office has announced a further £3 million to help vulnerable and at-risk EU citizens apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).
The money will go to the network of grant funded organisations, which supports people across the UK in applying to the EUSS who have vulnerabilities such as language barriers or limited access to IT.
This funding boost means the Home Office has now made £25 million in funding available for the network since 2019, which includes charities, local authorities and community groups.
Having helped more than 360,000 individuals with applications to the scheme, Home Office funding for the network of 72 organisations will now continue until at least 31 March 2022.
This will ensure that provision remains in place for eligible EU citizens with reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline to access the support they need to make a late application.
According to statistics released today, the Home Office received more than 6.2 million applications to the EUSS by 30 September 2021, with 172,200 received since the 30 June 2021 deadline.
Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:
Supporting vulnerable EU citizens has been an important focus of our approach to the EU Settlement Scheme.
I am happy we are continuing to fund the network of 72 grant funded organisations so they can continue to provide such invaluable assistance and advice to vulnerable EU citizens and their families during the application process. I encourage anyone who is eligible to make a late application to apply and join the millions who have been granted status, contacting any of the grant funded organisations if they need additional help.
This builds on a wide range of support available to EU citizens applying to the EUSS. This includes assisted digital locations across the UK which can support people who may not have the appropriate skills or access to apply online.
There are also more than 1,500 Home Office staff working on the EUSS with 250 Settlement Resolution Centre staff in place to provide assistance to applicants with any questions about the scheme or who need help applying.
The grant funded network supported by the Home Office includes charities, local authorities and local government associations based across the UK.
Paul Prosser, lead for NOAH Enterprise said:
NOAH Enterprise in Luton are passionate about making sure that vulnerable people can access the EUSS and secure their immigration status in the UK. We work with those who are the most deprived and experience real poverty and homelessness, some are suffering from mental ill health and exploitation from other people.
The Home Office funding has allowed us to dedicate specialist resources to find and meet individuals in need across Luton and deliver holistic and accessible support.
Chief Executive of Simon Community, Scotland, Lorraine McGrath said:
I am incredibly pleased to be able to continue to provide intensive specialised support to people affected by homelessness under the EU Settlement Scheme. Many vulnerable people need our support to establish their rights and achieve settled status. This grant will enable us to continue to reach, engage and find quick resolutions for many of them.
Service Manager at Community Renewal Glasgow Suzanne Bell said:
The Community Renewal Govanhill Roma team worked tirelessly to support as many community members as possible to attain EUSS status in time for the June 2021 deadline.
We are thankful that this funding will help us support those who may have understandably missed the deadline. Thanks to this funding we can support this community to settle in the place they have chosen to call home.