The Home Office has agreed to extend funding for another six months, meaning that the AIRE Centre can continue to support vulnerable EEA nationals under the EU Settlement Scheme and deal with complex cases referred to us by other organisations. 

The extension — which runs up to March 2022 — speaks to the success of our work so far. In order to secure residence rights in the country, EEA nationals and any family members had to apply to the Scheme by 30th June 2021. For over two years now, the AIRE Centre has provided end-to-end assistance via workshops, telephone and Zoom appointments, and written advice to support over 2000 people to submit EUSS applications. One woman, who escaped domestic abuse, wrote to us: “I received my outcome today and my application is successful. Thank you so much for your help and support.” We have supported thousands more in understanding how the scheme works, their eligibility, and to submit an application using our online tools, information sheets, and webinars.  

Our Director, Matthew Evans, said: “The AIRE Centre is proud of the work it has done to date in helping thousands of EU nationals and their family members already living in the UK navigate the Scheme in order to confirm their existing right to be here. We will continue to work with individuals and organisations to ensure that EU citizens who are at risk of not applying are supported to do so, and that their associated rights are protected.”       

There is a lot more for the AIRE Centre to do. We continue to receive daily requests for advice from people who are eligible for the Scheme but have yet to submit an application. It can also take months for our clients to receive an outcome, leaving them in a legal limbo that affects their ability to obtain employment and to access benefits; local authority support; homelessness assistance; as well as their right to rent. 

Over the next six months, the AIRE Centre will: 

  • Provide end-to-end support for people making late EUSS applications — including applicants with physical and mental health problems which previously prevented them from applying; victims of domestic violence; rough sleepers; people in prison; Roma people; and children and adults in care, as well as care leavers.  
  • Support applicants with pre-settled status to upgrade their status to settled status.
  • Support those with pre-settled status and those with pending applications to enforce their residence rights, including access to healthcare, benefits, their right to work, and their right to rent. 
  • Provide training to local authorities and other NGOs to equip them to support applications to the EUSS and inform them of the residence rights of people with settled/ pre-settled status, as well as those whose applications remain pending. 
  • Produce and distribute resources — including information sheets — on applications to the EUSS and residence rights of people with settled or pre-settled status, as well as those whose applications remain pending.

Matthew Evans added: “Our aim is to ensure that EU citizens, and all those connected with the lives of EU citizens, understand their rights. We therefore encourage community and other organisations to contact us if they need legal information or support on complex issues”    

If you are an EEA national who would like support with their EUSS application, please call 0207 831 4276 or email [email protected]