Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice
I am pleased to announce that the Welsh Government will continue to fund Citizens Advice Cymru, third sector organisation Settled and immigration specialist lawyers, Newfields Law, to provide ongoing support to EU citizens’,EEA and Swiss nationals who wish to remain in Wales, until 30 September 2022.
Since June 2019, the Welsh Government has provided a suite of free support to those EU citizens who wish to stay here. We have always been determined to ensure that EU citizens who have chosen to make Wales their home continue to feel valued members of our communities and we want all citizens to be reassured that the Welsh Government wants Wales to be a welcoming nation.
The support to date has meant that EU citizens and family members have been able to access digital support with their applications for settled status, get help with basic queries about eligibility, access advice on social welfare issues and workplace rights and obtain free specialist immigration advice.
Since the beginning of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) over 100,000 applications have been made by EU citizens resident here in Wales and many of those individuals have accessed some form of support in completing their applications.
Despite the deadline for applications to the EUSS being almost a year ago, we know there continues to an ongoing need for support, covering late applications, appeals against refusals of applications, conversions from pre-settled to settled status, and rights and entitlements.
With this in mind the Welsh Government will continue its provision of support until at least 30 September 2022 and will continue to fund Citizens Advice Cymru, Settled and Newfields Law to ensure EU citizens living in Wales can still access the support they may need.
This additional funding will also ensure that services are able to provide support to citizens including Ukrainian nationals, who may wish to join family members who are already settled here in Wales.
In addition to this, the Welsh Government continues to facilitate meetings of the EU Settlement Scheme Wales Co-ordination Group which brings together, key delivery partners and agencies to support and co-ordinate the successful delivery of EUSS advice and support services in Wales. The Group’s continued objectives are to:
- Share reports on the work of the supporting organisations, including on best practice and issues in relation to the EUSS;
- Promote public awareness of, and participation in, the EUSS in Wales.
- Maximise citizen access to the EUSS in Wales through focused publicity.
- Ensure there are consistent EUSS advice services available in Wales, with the right level of support targeted at the right people.
- Identify any gaps in the current supported provisions and assist the Welsh Government/Home Office in finding solutions to overcome any issues.