Advice for EU nationals on their post-Brexit status
Published: Friday 2nd March 18
More than 26,000 Wandsworth residents are EU nationals, and so far hundreds of them have sought face-to-face, telephone and online help from a specialist advice service commissioned from Citizens Advice Wandsworth by the council.
The EU advice service at Citizens Advice Wandsworth
Specialist advisor Will Hadwen gave advice about how people can prepare, and answered at least 40 questions, with many people concerned about their rights being impacted by recent stays abroad or periods of unemployment.
After the session one attendee said, “this evening has been a godsend – there’s just no information out there but you’ve really helped me understand.” The event was so popular not everyone could secure a place, so another similar session will be held later this month, and more will be scheduled in community locations in the spring.
Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia has spent the last few months lobbying the UK Government and the EU to clarify the situation for EU Nationals. He said: “This session confirmed what we knew – thousands of our residents are affected by this and many have little or no idea what their status will be or what they need to do now to secure citizenship.
“We need to get ahead of the curve on this, which is why we commissioned the specialist advice service from Citizens Advice Wandsworth. We value each and every one of our residents – wherever they came from originally, they are part of our community now and contribute a great deal to it. I am determined to do all I can to protect their interests.”
In the audio clip below, Cllr Govindia told Wandsworth Radio how and why the council is supporting EU nationals and about his own experiences of arriving in the UK from Uganda. (the interview starts about nine minutes in).
Mary-Anne Foxwell, director of services at Citizens Advice Wandsworth, said: “We are delighted that Wandsworth Council has commissioned this EU advice project. It allows us to meet the need for information and advice on the implications of Brexit on the continuing rights of EU nationals to live, work and study here.
“We are keen that the project helps to prevent future problems for people by promoting awareness of what EU nationals should do to ‘get ready for Brexit’ by making sure they have got evidence of what they have been doing in the UK - even if they have been living here for many years.”
Help for EU nationals in Wandsworth includes
- A telephone, email and drop-in service with advice available in several European languages. Visit the webpage.
- A European Passport Return Service so that European nationals living in Wandsworth can keep hold of their passports when applying to the Home Office for a registration certificate or a document certifying permanent residence.
Find out how to access support at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/eusupport.