EU citizens in Wales will still be able to access free and confidential support for their EU Settlement Scheme applications until 31 December 2021, the Welsh Government have confirmed.
The Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme, known as EUSS, offered EU, non-EU EEA and Swiss citizens, and their eligible family members the opportunity to protect their residency since the UK left the European Union.
The scheme closed at the end of June 2021, however late applications with reasonable grounds are still being accepted by the Home Office.
Today’s announcement confirms access for EU citizens to free support from specialist law firm Newfields Law will continue until the end of 2021.
This is in addition to the confidential support from Citizens Advice Cymru and charity Settled, which the Welsh Government has funded since 2019.
The Home Office initially anticipated there would be around 70,000 EU nationals living in Wales who would need to apply to the Settlement Scheme, however Local Authority data estimated closer to 95,000 EU/EEA/Swiss citizens.
The most recent Home Office statistics show 96,800 applications have been filed by those resident in Wales up until 30 June 2021.
Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, said:
“Wales remains committed to ensuring our very valued EU citizens can secure the status they need to remain in the UK legally.
“I am glad we can continue to provide a range of free, confidential support to reassure Wales’ EU citizens that they are welcome here and we are doing what we can to guarantee they can remain, without worry.”
Newfields Law said:
“We are delighted to continue providing assistance to those living in Wales who need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
“We would encourage anyone who needs assistance to come forward as a matter of urgency so that we can secure your right to remain in the UK.”
Advice for EU citizens in Wales can be found at gov.wales/preparing-wales/eu-citizens