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

An information event held recently at the town hall was attended by around a hundred EU nationals, with organisers describing an atmosphere of surprise at the fact that all EU nationals will have to take action to secure their right to remain in the UK.

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

 View comments on this article

Comments on this news item have been closed.

If you wish to complain about a comment, contact us at

Recent comments

the vote out was a clear message, integrate or leave. this country is tired of losing its identity and culture to economic leeches, who come take then go. the vote was cast as a clear signal that the status quo needs to change, we are taking whats ours back. the eu is clearly a corrupt profiteering stain on the world, and will most definitely collapse in the near future, i suggest you go home start preparing for the mass depression europe will suffer when it collapses, we are just ahead of the game, getting out will put the great back into great Britain and give us a head start, so while europe is trying to piece together what happened to the great dictatorship, we will be well into our oversea trade and prospering.

5 March 2018

Olivier, what do you expect from a government led by a PM describing us as citizens of nowhere?

3 March 2018

Why are we wasting council tax money on this when we don’t know what the brexit deal is yet ?

2 March 2018

The government has been using EU nationals as bargaining chip with the EU for months so a bit rich for the Council to now offer these same people some advice. Some of these people will have been living for years in the UK with their families, working, paying taxes and contributing to society. They should not need advice. What they need is a competent government who stops treating EU nationals like pawns in a game.
Olivier Desbarres

2 March 2018