Last week, Locality attended a roundtable with Caroline Noakes, Immigration Minister, to hear about next steps for the EU Settlement Scheme and to explore civil society’s role in supporting its implementation.

In short, all EU citizens living in the UK will be able to apply for the scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020 rather than June 2021.

As well as top lines on how the scheme will work, there was a detailed discussion of the way in which ‘vulnerable or at-risk’ EU citizens would engage with the scheme – people your organisation may already support.

A dedicated grants programme of £9m for the VCS to support these people was announced last year, with applications for the grants programme closing on 1 February.

At the meeting, we raised concerns that the procurement requirements for this scheme meant that many community organisations were not eligible to apply within the timescale – as reported by Locality members.

The network of civil society organisations which have been awarded grant funding will likely be announced in April.

If you have applied for a grant through the programme, we’re keen to provide as many practical examples as possible when engaging with government officials so please get in touch to let us know: policy@locality.org.uk

Signposting at-risk EU citizens

When this network is announced, Locality will provide details of the organisations involved in the scheme.

This will be useful information for signposting ‘vulnerable or at-risk’ EU citizens you might work with to organisations that can support them with EU Settlement Scheme applications.

Accelerated OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) accreditation for not-for-profits

If you are providing immigration assistance directly to EU citizens, or are likely to in the future, you must have the appropriate level of OISC registration.

The Home Office will be offering an accelerated process for not-for-profit organisations wanting to receive OISC accreditation and provide immigration assistance and advice. More information can be found on Gov.uk