Every team in EYST has time-based work, but perhaps none more so than the EU Citizens’ Rights (EUCR) team. Their job is to promote the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) and to encourage as many EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals as possible to apply to the scheme before the deadline of 30th June 2021, so they can secure their rights to live, work, study and access services in Wales after Brexit is complete. Specifically, they promote Citizens’ Advice Cymru’s service, as they have the most up-to-date immigration advice and can assist with applications. The EUCR team are based across Wales, and they promote the EUSS via local news and radio.
However, their main concern now is reaching those who are vulnerable or less likely to apply. This can include people who have lived here for decades and may not know they need to apply, people who have ‘permanent residence’ and think this is the same as ‘indefinite leave to remain’, or those with poor social networks who may not even know about the EUSS. Poor social networks are one of the biggest barriers EUCR are facing in reaching everyone. I loved seeing the creativity which goes into planning how to reach more isolated people. Their ideas included advertising in local businesses and social clubs and speaking to care homes to reach more vulnerable people. The EUCR team, who are friendly and incredibly caring, focus on the fact that Brexit and the EUSS affect real people, not just statistics. This approach is exactly what we all need to adopt to help those who may feel vulnerable in our world today.