North Yorkshire is stepping up support and urging EU citizens living and working in the county to apply for pre-settled or settled status – ideally before October 31st.
The County Council’s Registration Service has launched a scanning service to help people with the application process.
“We want our EU citizens and their families to know that they are very welcome in North Yorkshire and are a very important part of the cultural and economic vitality of our region; valued members of our workforce and communities," said County Councillor Greg White, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Customer Engagement.
“There are hundreds of EU citizens working across North Yorkshire across all sectors, and particularly in care, the NHS, farming and our leisure and tourism industries. They are a crucially important part of our collective workforce and will continue to be so post-Brexit.
“Applying for pre-settled or settled status is free and easy to do; nationally over 1 million people have already successfully applied and secured their future and we encourage others to do so.”
The county council is also contacting and encouraging employers across the health and social care sector to do everything possible to engage with their current EU workers and provide reassurance of the stability of working in the UK post Brexit. The council is working with employers to urge their employees to apply as soon as possible and ideally prior to 31st October to secure settled status.
Cllr White added: “Alongside other employers the county council is supporting its own EU employees to apply for settled status. We are giving them clear assurances about their ability to continue to work for us now and into the future. They are an important part of our workforce and will continue to be so post-Brexit.”
The council’s Registration Service is stepping up support with a scanning service specifically designed for those who need help with the application process which requires the use of a compatible Android phone or tablet to scan identity documents and take photographs.
The scanning service is for people who do not have access to a compatible device to scan and verify their documents as part of their application. This is available by appointment, initially at the Harrogate, Northallerton and Scarborough and Harrogate registration offices.
EU citizens and their families are able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for free, to enable them to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021.
Zuzana McGeever is deputy manager at Station View, Starbeck, which is a county council day and short break residential care centre. She came to the UK 14 years ago from Slovakia where she had qualified as a social worker and has worked in the care sector ever since. She is now married to an English man and has two children born in the UK.
She said: “My children were really anxious about what would happen to me after Brexit and in any case I wanted to ensure that I would be OK, so I was one of the first to apply for settled status back in the spring. I went online, downloaded the app, took a photo and made the application.
"I had a response from the Home Office within a couple of days to confirm I had been granted settled status and had “indefinite leave to remain” in the UK. It was very easy and it has given me and my family peace of mind.
“I would recommend to anybody from the EU, who lives and works in the UK and wants to remain in this country, to apply for settled status.
"It’s a simple process, I did it in one evening, and there is help on hand if you need it. I don’t have to worry anymore what is going to happen, I can continue working and living my life as usual no matter what the Brexit outcome is going to be.”