EU citizens who live and work in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are being reminded to apply for settled status if they wish to stay on in the area after the UK’s exit from the EU. Dorset is in the top ten UK areas for the number of EU citizens living and working locally.
The EU Settlement Scheme is open to all EU citizens who are resident in the UK before 31 December 2020, allowing them to continue to live, work and study in the area. The deadline for settled status is 30 June 2021, but BCP Council is advising eligible EU citizens to apply as soon as possible. After this deadline, EU citizens who have not secured settled status will lose access to the benefits and services they have currently.
Earlier this year, BCP Council wrote to around 9,000 residents identified from the electoral roll as being EU citizens to encourage them to apply for settled status. Many are working in the health and social care or hospitality sector and the council is actively reaching out to these residents.
The council has also ensured that all eligible looked-after children and care leavers within the care system have been supported to secure settled status as part of our wider child protection responsibilities. Any new children in the care system will similarly be supported to secure settled status.
Councillor Drew Mellor, Leader of BCP Council, said:
“EU citizens living and working in our area make a fantastic contribution to our local economy, culture and diversity and we want them to continue to do so after Brexit.
“We urge our EU citizens and their families to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible, to ensure they can stay on to live and work here. The settlement scheme will protect their rights after the EU transition period, including access to healthcare, benefits and pensions.”
EU citizens and their families have until 30 June 2021 to apply to get settled or pre-settled status for the right to stay. BCP Council is advising them not to leave their application to the last minute, in case there are any complications with their application. The application can be done online www.gov.uk/eu-settled-status
Anyone needing assistance with completing their application can get support from specialist help teams at Citizens Advice Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole