Access to local Immigration Advisers ahead of EU Exit date
With Brexit still being considered, there are EU citizens living in Argyll and Bute who will concerned about their right to reside in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme and who require professional impartial advice on whether they need to take any action. Brexit has exacerbated the demand for this limited resource.
A new resource from independent regulatory body the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) signposting people to OISC registered advisers is now available online at: https://home.oisc.gov.uk/adviser_finder/finder.aspx
Additionally, the Scottish Government is also funding Citizens Advice Scotland to provide a support and advice service for all citizens affected by the EU Settlement Scheme. This service can be accessed through local Citizens Advice Scotland offices
'Get ready for Brexit' online tool
The UK Government has launched a new 'Get ready for Brexit' campaign and online tool, which allows individuals and businesses to answer a few questions to find out how they should prepare for the UK's planned withdrawal from the EU.
It can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/brexit
Advice for EU citizens
Argyll and Bute is home to some residents from different European Union (EU) countries, all of whom make an important contribution to our area.
We will put information on this web page as it becomes available.
The Scottish Government’s website at https://www.mygov.scot/eu-exit/ provides information and guidance to help you prepare for the EU exit, including a 'no deal' situation. While not all information is available at this time, regular updates will be made to the site as new information becomes available.
The EU Settlement Scheme at https://www.gov.uk/staying-uk-eu-citizen provides further details about how EU citizens and their families can obtain settled status in the UK.
EU Settlement Scheme
The UK Government launched its EU Settlement Scheme on 30 March 2019.
The scheme provides a simple and straightforward process for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who want to stay in the UK to get the UK immigration status they need, following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
You will only need to complete three key steps – prove your identity, show that you live in the UK, and declare any criminal convictions. Applications to the Scheme are free and are made via a short online application process.
The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.
Below are links to online information and support regarding the EU Settlement Scheme:
Additionally, Argyll and Bute Council is one of the Local Authorities supporting EU, EEA and Swiss citizens to complete the ID verification part of the process. You can attend an appointment in Helensburgh or Oban, and there is no charge for this service.
For the Identity Verification process:
- Applicants must not start the application process before they attend their appointment
- You'll need a compatible Android phone or tablet if you want to scan your identity document yourself
- If your mobile phone or other device does not have near field communication (NFC) you can make an appointment to bring your ID documentation to us, where we will scan and verify it for you
- We will not require to keep your ID Document and in most cases you will not be required to send your passport anywhere else during your application for pre-settled or settled status
What to bring to your appointment:
- Your current valid biometric EU, EEA or Swiss passport or a valid biometric Residence Permit (BRP) for family members of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- A mobile phone that can receive text messages or a device that can receive email
- Only the ID Documents above can be checked by us. If you do not have one of these documents then please visit the GOV.UK website (https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families) for further information and options
Argyll & Bute Council are currently offering this service in our Helensburgh and Oban Service points.
If you wish to book an appointment to use the EU Settlement Service, please contact our Registration Service on 01546 605521 and press the required option to access our Helensburgh or Oban Customer Servicepoint.
Advice for businesses
The UK and Scottish Governments have both provided useful guidance for businesses to help prepare for the UK leaving the EU. Both websites will raise your awareness of the risks, rewards and challenges of the new economic landscape by highlighting areas that you need to plan for. It will direct you to resources, advice, events and services to help you develop your plans.
Scottish Government Brexit guidance at https://www.prepareforbrexit.scot/
UK Government Brexit self-assessment tool at https://www.gov.uk/business-uk-leaving-eu
In March 2019, a new ‘Brexit Support Grant’ for small to medium sized businesses was announced, offering 100% funding up to £4000.
All VAT Registered Scottish based SME companies are eligible for the grant. Full details here: https://www.prepareforbrexit.scot/updates/brexit-support-grant?fbclid=IwAR2FXGF-vBeaR2ZPFXE7iVLML25fpSwu4nqbcA4QPOoYfexLc8WCqHCwZ_Y