Home Office Minister Kevin Foster met Scottish charity Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Service Ltd (PKAVS) today, commending the exemplary support they have been providing to help vulnerable EU citizens apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
PKAVS provide invaluable support to help victims of human trafficking or domestic abuse, those with severe mental health conditions, those without a permanent address, and those who are elderly or isolated apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
It is one of the eight charities in Scotland, and 57 organisations and local authorities across the UK, being awarded up to £17 million in funding to help vulnerable EU citizens apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. PKAVS alone has already provided support to more than 1,700 vulnerable EU citizens living in Perth & Kinross.
The latest official statistics show there have been 185,900 applications in Scotland so far with the highest number of applications coming from Polish (60,680), Romanian (14,140), Italian (13,620) and Spanish (11,670) nationals.
Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said:
It’s fantastic there have already been more than 185,900 applications to the EU Settlement Scheme in Scotland given there is still plenty of time to apply before the 30 June 2021 deadline.
Charities like PKAVS in Perth & Kinross, which the Home Office has funded, have been doing a superb job providing support to ensure vulnerable EU citizens are able to secure their status.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people in Scotland have had access to a range of support either online, by email or by telephone to help them apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. This includes over 40 Assisted Digital locations for those who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to apply online.
There are also over 1,500 Home Office staff working on the EU Settlement Scheme with 250 Settlement Resolution Centre staff in place to provide assistance to applicants with any questions about the scheme or who need help applying.
Chief Executive of PKAVS Paul Graham said:
We at PKAVS are delighted to host a virtual visit from the Minister, and welcome the opportunity to share some of the great outcomes we have been able to achieve for local EU citizens through our partnership with the Home Office.
PKAVS Minority Communities Hub has been supporting people from around the world who have chosen to make Perth & Kinross their home for over 10 years. Through assisting EU citizens to apply for and secure their settled status, we are proud to play our part to support the enormous contribution EU citizens make to the social, economic and cultural vibrancy of Perth & Kinross and the UK as a whole.
We would like to thank the Home Office for their excellent support throughout the EU Settlement Scheme process, which has helped PKAVS to empower 1,700 people to understand and apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.
To help raise awareness of the scheme at a local level, the Home Office has held a series of pop-up events across the UK where staff answer questions and help people to apply in person.
In September to October 2019, and February of this year, the Home Office ran local events in nine locations across the UK, including Aberdeen, Great Yarmouth, London, Nottingham, Leeds and Birmingham. The Home Office also supported an event to raise awareness of the scheme which was led by PKAVS in February 2020.
The Home Office also ran a £4 million marketing campaign in 2019 to encourage EU citizens to apply and a new wave of advertising began earlier this year to encourage those who have not yet applied to do so.
We have also translated communication materials into 26 EU languages, including Welsh and Irish.