Home Office launches EU settlement scheme campaign as deadline approaches

The Home Office has launched a new information campaign urging EU citizens living in the UK to apply for its settlement scheme as soon as possible.

The launch of the campaign comes on the same day as immigration enforcement action in Glasgow led to a large protest and anger from the Scottish Government.

EU citizens have a deadline of June 30 to apply for settled status. This will afford them legal status to carry on living and working in the UK now the Brexit transition period and freedom of movement has ended.

The latest figures show 5.4 million applications have been made to the scheme, with more than 4.9 million grants of status.

There were 4.88 million applications from England, 268,500 from Scotland, 89,800 from Wales and 88,600 from Northern Ireland.

The campaign launched on Thursday aims to make sure that EU citizens and their family members are aware of the deadline and know they need to apply, with adverts appearing on social media, TV and radio.

MP portraits
Immigration minister Kevin Foster urged people to apply as soon as possible (UK Parliament/PA)

So far, £8 million has been spent on communication around the EU settlement scheme.

Immigration minister Kevin Foster said: “Every day, thousands of people are being granted status under the hugely successful EU settlement scheme and I would urge people who are eligible to apply as soon as possible to secure the status they deserve in UK law.

“This new campaign will help us encourage those who need to apply to act now before the June 30 deadline.

“The Government is committed to making sure everybody eligible for the scheme can apply, including those who are the most vulnerable or need extra support.”

An immigration van in Kenmure Street, Glasgow, surrounded by protesters
An immigration van in Kenmure Street, Glasgow, surrounded by protesters (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Scotland Office minister Iain Stewart said: “EU citizens are hugely important and valued and we want them to continue to live and work here. We’re making this part of the process as simple as possible.

“More than 268,500 have already applied in Scotland and I want to encourage anyone yet to do so to get the ball rolling.

“Help is available seven days a week if needed.”

Immigration enforcement action in Kenmure Street, Glasgow, led to a standoff where protestors blocked a van from leaving the road.

Nicola Sturgeon said the situation was “dangerous and unacceptable” and called for urgent action from the Home Office.