A migration agency of the United Nations, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is currently mobilising a partnership with three organisations – St Mungo’s, The3million, and Here for Good – to support vulnerable European Union (EU) citizens resident in the United Kingdom as they seek access to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), which will allow them to remain after June 2021.
IOM UK Chief of Mission, Dipti Pardeshi, has explained that vulnerable and at-risk migrants can be overlooked in traditional support structures, pointing out ‘’EU citizens residing in the UK have made significant contributions here, and we are committed to helping ensure that those at risk of being overlooked are aware of their rights, know how to apply and are provided with appropriate support.’’
An estimated 3.5 million EU citizens currently resident in the UK are required to apply to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme.
However, there are concerns that some of those required to apply remain unaware of the Scheme, or they may struggle to make an application. These vulnerable applicants may include the elderly, people with disabilities, homeless and rough sleepers, Roma communities, survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery, and young care-leavers.
With the UK’s impending departure from the European Union, EU citizens resident in the UK and their family members wishing to continue living in the UK will need to apply for immigration status under the EUSS or apply for British citizenship in order to exercise their right to work, housing and benefits.
Added UK Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes: ‘’EU citizens are our friends, family and neighbours, and we want them to stay. I’m delighted that IOM will be working in partnership with us to ensure that everyone has the support they need to apply.’’
IOM, in partnership with The 3million, St Mungo’s and Here for Good will work together to reach over 12,000 vulnerable or at-risk people, to raise awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme and to provide direct support to individuals where needed, to address the barriers they may face in completing their applications.
Under this grant agreement, IOM will work closely with local authorities across the UK, providing additional capacity to help support vulnerable individuals under their care. The3million will lead an online national-level outreach campaign and work through existing relationships to support Roma populations.
St Mungo’s will support people who are homeless or rough sleeping to access the Scheme, and Here for Good will provide legal support for vulnerable individuals requiring further assistance to access the Scheme.
‘’While we expect that the majority of people will be able to successfully register through the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, it’s important that support exists for those with more complex cases who also tend to be society’s most vulnerable’’, said Tahmid Chowdhury, Co-Founder of Here for Good.
‘’We’re proud to be working alongside IOM, the3million and St Mungo’s. Citizens’ rights represent the human cost of Brexit – together, we’re committed to supporting the most vulnerable citizens, so they can stay here for good’’, Chowdhury continued.
This grant is one part of a total of GBP 9 million made available by the Home Office for 57 organisations to support a total of 200,000 people access the EUSS who may be marginalised or in need of help.
‘’Our vision is that everyone has a place to call home and can fulfil their hopes and ambitions’’, said Sylvia Tijmstra, St Mungo’s Head of Migrant Services. ‘’We are committed to providing inclusive opportunities for people who are homeless or sleeping rough regardless of nationality or immigration status. This partnership will help us to achieve our aims by expanding our resources and linking in with experts in the field of migrant support.’’
‘’Vulnerable EU Citizens in the UK risk becoming another scandal’’, said The3million CEO Nicolas Hatton. ‘’The3million aims to reach as many as possible and guide and support them through their EU Settled Status applications, so they don’t end up living in the country they call home without a valid immigration status when the UK leaves the EU.’’