New package of support to help EU Citizens living in Wales prepare for Brexit
A new package of support to help EU citizens prepare for Brexit and continue to live and work in Wales have been announced.
Around 80,000 EU citizens currently live, work and study in Wales and many have not yet applied to the UK Government’s Settlement Scheme to remain in the UK after Brexit.
The new package of support from Welsh Government will:
-Offer support with applications and give advice on social welfare issues and workplace rights through the network of Citizens Advice throughout Wales
-Provide an immigration advice service offering specialist support for complex cases, delivered by immigration legal specialists, Newfields Law;
-Increase the provision of digital support centres in Wales – to help those without the digital means to apply for settled status;
-Work with a range of charities and partners across Wales to raise awareness of the need to apply for settled status in hard-to-reach and vulnerable communities.
Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles said: “Wales is home to thousands of EU citizens from diverse backgrounds who enrich our communities and contribute to our public services and economic success immeasurably. They are our friends, our neighbours our work colleagues and our family members.
“We are committed to support every member of our community, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. I want our message to be clear – we value the enormous contribution you make to our society.
“However, many EU citizens are facing an uncertain future. Tailored advice and support which breaks down communication barriers and is targeted directly where it is needed will enable everyone to understand their rights and make informed decisions in the coming months.
“I’m pleased we have been working closely with the 3 Million – which speaks for EU citizens who live and work in the UK – and intend to work even more closely with them in future.
“The impact here in Wales, in our community and our workplaces of EU citizens leaving the UK could be dramatic. We need to increase awareness of citizens’ rights to support them to remain here and thrive.”
As part of the project, a new website will be launched to promote the range of help on offer for EU citizens living in Wales.