European residents in Glasgow helped apply for the right to stay in the UK
AFTER 11 p.m. tonight, EU passport holders will no longer have the automatic right to live in the UK – a move affecting thousands of Glasgow residents.
Govanhill has a large number of EU residents who have chosen to make the region their home and local charities have worked to ensure they access their right to stay after Brexit.
Local organizations, as well as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), have been working together for some time to help EU citizens living in Govanhill apply to the EU Settlement Program (EUSS) before the deadline today.
Annie Macfarlane, local resident and member of the Govanhill Community Development Trust Committee, said: âGovanhill is an area where many EU citizens have settled with their families, assuming they would continue to have the right to stay in this country.
âBrexit has removed this automatic right and risks making life very difficult for many.
âAlthough we are not an immigration counseling service, it was important for us to support people in any way possible to ensure that members of our community of Govanhill can continue to have a right to family life here. . ”
Govanhill Community Development Trust, Community Renewal, Positive Action in Housing, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have helped over 150 local residents apply on time.
Some community members have found it difficult to exercise their rights due to a lack of digital access.
Although the application is relatively straightforward, many people living in more disadvantaged areas have faced significant obstacles in securing their legal right to stay in the country.
This includes difficulty in obtaining documents, collecting the necessary proof of residency, or lacking the technology required to complete the online application.
Paul McColgan, Managing Director of Community Renewal, said: âCommunity Renewal has worked alongside the Roma community of Govanhill for several years.
âAs of April 2019, part of our job has been to help individuals and families apply to EUSS.
“During this time, we found that many lacked digital access or struggled to understand the evidentiary requirements, so much of our support helped them overcome these barriers.”
After the result of the Brexit referendum, it was unclear what would happen to EU citizens living in the UK.
In 2019, the UK government implemented the EU Settlement Scheme.
Under this scheme, EU / EEA and Swiss nationals may be eligible to apply for permanent residence status – indefinite – or pre-established – temporary leave of five years -.
The first would be for those who have resided continuously in the UK for five years or more, the second would be for those who have resided in the UK for less than five years.
But in the latter case, they would have to prove they were resident in the UK before the end of the transition period on December 31, 2021.
All EU / EEA and Swiss nationals who resided in the UK before the end of the transition period can apply to the EUSS until 11 p.m. today.
After that, holding a European passport will no longer automatically grant the right to live in the UK.
UK Head of Mission Dipti Pardeshi of the Institute of Migration, added: âPeople who have been supported by IOM in Glasgow and across the UK since 2019 include children in care, people without sheltering or sleeping in the streets, survivors of modern slavery and abuse, as well as people living with disabilities or facing language, literacy or economic barriers.
âWe have worked closely with local authorities and third sector organizations to ensure that no one is left behind. ”