European Union citizens resident in Orkney are being reminded of the 30 June deadline to apply for “settled or pre-settled” status to enable onward living in the UK and the protection of their rights.
The scheme was launched in 2019 by the Home Office to process the registration of EU citizens resident in the UK prior to its departure from the EU.
Successful applicants will receive either status depending on the length of time they have been resident in the UK.
The changes, which come into being on 1 July, will impact the way in which European Economic Area (EEA) citizens and their family members access the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWPs) benefits and public services where settled status has not been applied for or granted by the Home Office.
EEA citizens and their family members who have yet to attain EU Settlement Scheme status can still access DWP benefits, including Housing Benefit (subject to eligibility), during the application process.
A national campaign has been running targeting and encouraging eligible citizens to apply and there will be a “reasonable grounds” approach taken to late applications.
OIC Revenues and Benefits Manager William Moore said: “Significant measures have been put in place to try and ensure no one falls through the net and loses out on benefit entitlement as a result of failing to meet the deadline. This will include letters being sent to those who are in receipt of benefits who have still not applied for EUSS encouraging them to do so. Extensions will be given to those deemed vulnerable and several processes will be gone through to try and capture all those who are entitled.
“The scheme is free and eligible people should make their applications as soon as possible.”