"We really would urge any EU citizens living in the Chichester District to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as they possible can. This is about protecting their rights to healthcare, benefits and pensions - and so it is vitally important that they do this before the 30 June deadline," says Cllr Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council.

"It's really simple to do. Anyone who wants to apply just needs to visit the  EU Settlement Scheme website or they can contact our colleagues at Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice who are also available to offer help. We also would urge employers and landlords to also share this information with anyone who this may affect."

Following the UK's departure from the European Union (BREXIT) all EU, EEA and Swiss nationals, including children, who were living in the UK on 31 December must apply for secure immigration status through the Government's EU Settlement Scheme, by the 30 June 2021. Anyone that fails to register will lose their right to live, work, study in the UK, as well as access NHS services, and benefit entitlements in the UK.

Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice are concerned that some of the most vulnerable, including children, disabled, vulnerable adults and older people are at risk of slipping through the net. Groups most at risk include;  

  • those who cannot prove their residence - e.g. victims of domestic abuse, homeless, unemployed. 
  • those who have limited digital skills or no digital access. 
  • people with language and literacy barriers.  
  • those who do not realise they need to apply - e.g children of EU nationals, migrants and refugees who gained EU citizenship. 
  • those who lack capacity.   
  • European spouses of British nationals.

Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice and Chichester District Council are urging all landlords and employers, including employment and letting agencies, to make sure that they inform their employees and tenants of the need to apply.

"If you are a landlord or employer and you rent your premises to, or employ, an EU, EEA or Swiss national, and they were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, it is vital that you inform them that they - and their children - must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to protect their existing rights in the UK," says Luca Badioli, CEO of Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice.

Anyone who requires help and assistance with their application to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021 can call Arun Chichester Citizens Advice, FREE on 0808 2787969 (Mon to Fri 9am - 4:30pm). Access to interpreters is also available.

Date of release: 11 May 2021

Reference: 4001