A year ago today, Manchester City Council signed a pledge to its children and young people affected by Brexit immigration changes. The pledge set out three practical commitments so that Manchester’s
“looked after children and care leavers will not become part of the next Windrush generation.”
A year later, as we hurtle towards the closure of the EU Settlement Scheme, the pledge is more important than ever. In less than four months, those who have not successfully made applications to the Scheme will be in the UK unlawfully. The commitments to
- identify those affected,
- connect them with legal advice and
- support them with pathways to citizenship
are the best way for local authorities to support the children and young people in their care. And yet, flaws in the Scheme and the impact of COVID-19 mean many will miss out.
We’ve been working closely with Manchester City Council in the past year, and they’re further ahead than many. Social workers and personal advisers across the UK have been struggling with the task of identifying children in care and care leavers who are affected by immigration changes and supporting them to make the right application.
We know this because Maria, GMIAU’s social worker, has been running training events for local authorities. Over 100 people signed up to the first training, from 18 different local authorities, and there’s still more interest.
At these training events we’ve been recording the questions that people have had for GMIAU. The number and range of these questions are indicative of the problems that are still coming up for people trying to navigate the EUSS. So we’ve used these questions to come up with some FAQs – by social workers, for social workers.
Below you can watch Maria’s training video, and read our FAQs. They cover the application process and eligibility, proving identity and nationality, proving residency, criminality, application outcome, and future status. You can read the top three below, and download the full 26 FAQs as a PDF here.
Where can I get more help with a complex case?
There are 72 organisations providing support. Many of them are working nationally. These can be found here. You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org if your question is not answered here and you need more help with an application.
There is a very long waiting time for a passport appointment at the Embassy. What do we do?
The important thing is the application is made on time. As the deadline to apply is now very close we would advise that you request a paper application from the EU Resolution Centre (0300 790 0566). While this is being completed / processed, continue to support the individual to get a new passport. If the passport arrives before a decision is reached on the paper application then an online application could be submitted as well. Make sure you get something from the Embassy in writing to send with the paper application as evidence that you cannot get ID for the individual prior to the 30th June deadline.
The person we support has a criminal record. Will an application to the EUSS be automatically refused?
No – applications may only be refused for serious or persistent offending. Always support the young person to seek legal advice in these cases. It may be better to submit representations from an immigration advisor alongside the application to the EUSS.
To download the full FAQs as a PDF, please click here.