As the Home Office delivers the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), it is critical there are clear plans and arrangements in place to accommodate the broad needs of citizens that it expects will need to apply for the EUSS.
The Home Office has put a range of measures in place to ensure that the EUSS is accessible and that all applicants are handled with flexibility and sensitivity. However, ensuring that the most vulnerable EU citizens and at-risk communities are engaged and supported is essential.
The voluntary and community sector plays a vital role in representing people who are unable to advocate for themselves, and engagement has been carried out with a range of Voluntary and Community sector organisations to ensure that the right support and programmes are in place to protect those most in need. The Home Office will soon be launching a full campaign, which will seek to create a network of eligible VCS organisations who can raise awareness of the EUSS amongst vulnerable EU citizens and their family members, and to provide EUSS application assistance to those who need it. Organisations will be provided with a tailored communications toolkit, to help inform vulnerable, at-risk and marginalised individuals around the EUSS. There will also be outreach events and training sessions organised to provide organisations with greater detail and support.
To enable organisations to support those most at-risk, a key first step in this campaign is a Grant Scheme. The Home Office is pleased to announce notice of its Grant Scheme, expected to award between £5 and 9million to fund Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations in delivering practical assistance to vulnerable or at-risk EU citizens and their family members, and to provide them with end-to-end support to apply.
Extensive engagement with VCS organisations has helped to shape the development of this Grant Scheme. However, the Home Office is seeking to refine the approach and assess provision for support services before formally launching the open competition, expected to commence at the end of November 2018.
Interested VCS organisations are invited to take part in an engagement teleconference to find out more information about the EUSS, the Grant Scheme process and the wider campaign, and to give organisations an opportunity to ask the Home Office questions. There will be several repeat teleconferences taking place on 7 and 8 November, to ensure as many organisations as possible have the chance to take part.
To sign up to attend a teleconference, and for more information on the Grant Scheme, please go to the Contract Finder Notice on GOV.UK. If you have any specific questions, you can email: EUSSgrants@homeoffice.gov.uk.
For further information on the EU Settlement Scheme, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-fund-to-support-vulnerable-eu-citizens-apply-for-settled-status