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Government extends funding to support EU citizens who wish to settle in Wales

10 Sep 2022 2 minute read
A Wales and Europe flag at a People’s Vote march. Picture by Ilovetheeu (CC 4.0)

The Welsh Government has confirmed it will continue to offer support for EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens wishing to stay in Wales – until at least March next year.

Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice has announced the government will continue to fund Citizens Advice Cymru, third sector organisation Settled and immigration specialist lawyers, Newfields Law, to provide ongoing support, up to 31 March 2023.

Free support to those EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who wish to stay in Wales has been offered by the government since June 2019.

Announcing the intention to extend the support package, the minister said: “We have always been determined to ensure that those citizens who have chosen to make Wales their home continue to feel valued members of our communities and we want them to be reassured that Wales is a welcoming nation.”

Digital support

The support offered to date has meant that eligible citizens and family members have been able to access digital support with their applications for settled status in Wales, get help with basic queries about eligibility, access advice on social welfare issues and workplace rights and obtain free specialist immigration advice.

Since the beginning of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) in 2019 over 100,000 applications have been made by citizens resident in Wales and many of those individuals have accessed some form of support in completing their applications.

Ms Hutt added: “Despite the deadline for applications to the EUSS being over a year ago, we know there is an ongoing need for support, covering late applications, appeals against refusals of applications, conversions from pre-settled to settled status, and rights and entitlements.

“With this in mind, the Welsh Government will continue its provision of support until 31 March 2023 in funding Citizens Advice Cymru, Settled and Newfields Law to ensure EU/EEA/Swiss citizens living in Wales can still access the support they may need.

“In addition to this, the Welsh Government continues to facilitate meetings of the EU Settlement Scheme Wales Co-ordination Group which brings together, key partners and agencies to support and co-ordinate the successful delivery of EUSS advice services in Wales.”

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