Citizens Advice Richmond has been commissioned by Richmond Council to provide a service to EU citizens who live, work or study in the borough. The service offers webinars, talks, workshops, one-to-one advice and a regular e-newsletter for people worried about Brexit and its aftermath.
It is estimated there are about 19,000 EU citizens living in Richmond and some have lived in the borough for many years. EU citizens can now apply for Settled Status, which will allow them to remain in the country, though they must do so by 30th June this year. Nationally over five million EU citizens have registered for the scheme though many have only been granted pre-Settled Status, which means they have to apply again, when they have lived here for five years. The latest figures show that 16,900 borough residents have applied.
The Citizens Advice caseworker, Mike Haran, said: “Although the Settled Status scheme is quite straightforward, we are still getting lots of queries about it and people are worried about what happens if they haven’t applied after the scheme ends in June. We are very concerned about those who don’t know about the scheme and those who don’t realise they have to register. If anyone has any doubts, they should contact us for advice. ”
A total of 134 people attended the latest Citizens Advice webinar on 27th January and the feedback was very positive – attendees rated both the organisation and the webinar’s content at over 90%. One attendee commented: “I never knew that there was any help for EU citizens. So thank you so much to the council for financing this. The talk and advice we got from Mike was excellent and removed some of my fears. His manner was warm and caring, his offers to help individual people sounded genuine. I felt so much better after the webinar because there was expert support available should I need it and I felt that I was made welcome again. A big THANK YOU to everybody involved.”
An edited recording of the webinar can be viewed at the Citizens Advice Richmond website, along with a list of FAQs from the event. The website also has details of all services, how to get advice and a link to sign up for the e-newsletter.