For EU citizens living in the borough and planning to stay in Ealing when the UK exits the European Union, being unable to get help to make an application to stay during the current COVID-19 crisis may be causing them unnecessary stress.
The government extended the funding to organisations providing support to those seeking EU settled status until the end of September 2020. This means that local support is still available for those who may have concerns about settled status or their immigration status.
Help that is available now
Ealing and Hounslow EU Settlement Service, provided by Ealing CVS, are booking appointments three months in advance to ensure anyone who needs to apply, gets the support they need to do so.
While direct in person access to the service is currently suspended, help is available Monday to Friday via Freephone, video call, Skype and WhatsApp.
Call between 9am to 5pm on 0800 0564745 or WhatsApp 07538 504426 for further information.
Ealing Law Centre is also available to help. Their team are working from home and you can contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8579 4598. More details on the support they offer can be found on their website.
Settled is a charity that gives free information and advice in a number of European languages to EU citizens who have difficulty accessing the application process, or the support they need, even if they have pre-settled status.
They provide support or can refer to a partner legal charity, Here for Good, for a higher level of support.
They offer multilingual helplines in Bulgarian, French, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak and Spanish. For details of the helpline numbers visit their website. You can also contact them by email on email@example.com.
‘Don’t let a concern grow’
Councillor Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council said: “We currently all have many worries and concerns, but if you are an EU citizen, don’t let a concern about staying in the UK grow when there is help and advice available.
“The support offered is free and supports you from the start of the application through to the end. Practical one-to-one support, advice and language help are all available. And when lockdown ends, digital support through the use of computers will also be available.”
View Councillor Bell’s video message from earlier this year.
Those who already have five years continuous lawful residency in the UK will be eligible for settled status. Others will be able to remain in the UK to build-up five years’ continuous residence provided they apply for pre-settled status.
Deadline for applying
The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021, though you must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. If you’re joining a family member in the UK you may be able to apply after this date.
Irish citizens do not need to apply for settled status.
Find more information about exiting the EU and UK residence for residents and businesses on the council’s website.