With less than six months remaining in the EU Exit Transition period, EU Citizens in Scotland are to get increased support from the Scottish Government funded Citizens Rights Project.
Part of the government’s Stay in Scotland package, this funding will support the project’s continuing work on two programmes:
- raising awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) with EU citizens across Scotland, with a focus on hard to reach groups, individuals with complex needs and third sector organisations working with vulnerable EU citizens.
- managing a network of volunteer advisers, operating under the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Level 1 (EUSS) exemption, to advise EU citizens in communities across Scotland on how to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The project aims to deliver these programmes by undertaking the following activities:
- The delivery of outreach and Q&A sessions using social media to raise awareness about the need for EU citizens to apply to the EUSS.
- Delivery of briefing sessions to inform organisations about the EUSS and how they can support their workers or service users.
- Delivery of general information sessions on wider issues including practical information about the EUSS application process and appeals, administrative review and submitting appeals
- Delivery of specialist briefings by qualified experts on topics which have been the subject of regular queries such as rights of EU citizens to work, and to access benefits.
- Supervision and training of Settled volunteers.
- Recruitment of more volunteers if there is interest and demand.
- Identification by Settled volunteers of clusters of EU citizens within local communities and key organisations.
- Remote one-to-one and group sessions with Settled volunteers to help people apply to the EUSS.
The Project Co-ordinator, Noelia Martinez, said: “The coronavirus crisis has caused particular worries and concerns for many EU citizens in Scotland, who are often vulnerable and isolated from their families and communities. However, the need for them to obtain settled or pre-settled status to make sure that they can continue to live in the UK remains.
“Because of the pandemic, we have had to move our activities on-line, which has made it possible for us to continue to meet the needs and concerns of that EU citizens community. This continuing support from the Scottish Government has been vital in allowing us to continue our important work.”
Migration Minister Ben Macpherson said:
“Our Stay in Scotland activity continues to celebrate the valuable contributions of EU citizens in Scotland, as well as providing practical and tangible support to help people to stay here. That is why I am pleased to support the important work the Citizens Rights Project are doing to engage with EU citizens, especially those who may need additional help in securing their status and understanding their rights.
“As we approach the end of the transition period many people may be feeling nervous and worried about the future. I want EU citizens living in Scotland to feel welcome, settled and secure and to continue to make such a strong contribution to our country – the Citizens Rights Project has a key part to play in helping us to achieve that goal.”
The grant is for a total of £42,810, and covers the four month period from June to September this year.
The Scottish Government previously funded the Citizens’ Rights Project £53,550 in 2019-20 to raise awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme with EU citizens across Scotland and to manage a network of volunteer advisers.
The UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme closes on 30 June 2021.