Home Office Minister Kevin Foster visited the Latin American Disabled People’s Project (LADPP) in Elephant & Castle, London today (18 August 2020) and saw first-hand the support being provided to help vulnerable Spanish and Portuguese speaking Europeans apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The LADPP has helped more than 1,200 people apply to the EU Settlement Scheme already, ahead of the 30 June 2021 deadline. It is one of 24 charities in London, and 57 organisations and local authorities across the UK, being awarded up to £17 million in funding to help vulnerable EU citizens apply.
Caseworkers at the LADPP have continued to provide crucial support throughout the coronavirus pandemic to some of the most vulnerable Spanish and Portuguese speaking people in London. This includes those with low literacy and digital skills, those without a permanent address, and those who have a disability or may be elderly or isolated.
Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:
The Latin American Disabled People’s Project has been doing such vital work helping vulnerable EU citizens apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, providing support right through the pandemic.
EU citizens are an integral part of UK society which is why I’m pleased there have been more than 3.5 million grants of status already securing people’s rights in UK law.
The latest official statistics show there were 587,490 applications from just ten local authorities in London up to 31 March 2020, with the highest number of applications coming from Newham (84,950), Brent (79,660), Ealing (66,270), Haringey (57,140) and Barnet (54,270).
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people in London have had access to a range of support either online, by email or by telephone to help them apply. Assisted digital support is also available to those EU citizens in the UK who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to apply online.
There are also over 1,500 Home Office staff working on the EU Settlement Scheme with 250 Settlement Resolution Centre staff in place to provide assistance to applicants with any questions about the scheme or who need help applying.
Rachel Hobbs, EU Settlement Scheme Project Co-ordinator at the Latin American Disabled People’s Project said:
We have already helped more than 1,200 Spanish and Portuguese speaking EU citizens living in London apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and we continue to provide critical support to those for whom English may not be their first language.
Whilst the application process is simple and straightforward for the vast majority of people we are passionate about ensuring that those who are vulnerable or may just need a little extra help applying, get the support they need. If you are one of those people we would encourage you to get in touch.
The Home Office has run two bursts of marketing campaigns, spending £4 million across the UK to encourage EU citizens to apply.
To help raise awareness of the scheme at a local level, the Home Office has also held a series of pop-up events across the UK where staff answer questions and help people to apply in person.
In September to October 2019, and February of this year, the Home Office ran local events in nine locations across the UK, including London, Aberdeen, Great Yarmouth, Nottingham, Leeds and Birmingham.
We have also translated communication materials into 26 EU languages, including Spanish and Portuguese.
Read the original advice at Foreign Travel Advice (UK)