This page is dedicated to our Ministry to the Gypsy, Traveller & Roma (GTR) Community. Over the coming months, we will be adding additional resources and content.
EU Settlement Awareness
In the light of Brexit we have been asked by the Churches Network for Gypsy Traveller and Roma people to raise awareness in the Roma communities of the need for people to apply for EU settled status in the UK. To qualify, people from EU countries need to have been resident in the UK, for at least 6 months each year, over a five-year period. Without settled status people may be subject to deportation. Settled status allows a person to rent property, apply for work, access health and education etc, and eventually to apply for residency.
People must apply before the deadline of 30th June 2021. Many folk may have language difficulties, so not understand the urgent need to apply, or understand the documentation they will need to have available to prove their status. Covid 19 has prevented some contact with support organisations.
Parents must ensure children and babies apply for settled status. Below follows information from the Guardian online: 6th June 2021
The minister for future borders and immigration, Kevin Foster, said: “Every day, thousands of people are being granted status under the hugely successful EU settlement scheme. I urge people who are eligible to apply as soon as possible and secure the rights they deserve in UK law. We have already confirmed that someone who has applied to the EU settlement scheme by the 30 June deadline, but has not had a decision by then, will have their rights protected until their application is decided.”
Yet the big unknown – and what continues to cause most disquiet – is the number of European citizens yet to actually apply, who risk losing fundamental legal rights, including the ability to work, and face the threat of “Home Office enforcement action” from 1 July.
Monique Hawkins of the campaign group ‘the3million’ commented that she was most concerned about the number of elderly people who had not applied for settled status. She said: “There is general concern by the EU delegation in London that not enough elderly people have applied – and a lot of them have been here a long time, had their brush with the Home Office in the past and have permanent residence documents, so think they’re fine.
“The group is also worried that many people seem unaware that parents need to ensure children and even babies apply for settled status this month. “It’ll be similar in that sense to the Windrush scandal: it will take a long time. Children now won’t discover they needed settled status until they try and get a job aged 18 or try to go to university.”
Resources to Support
- Revd Nicky Chater, Chaplain, GTR Community; PTO, Diocese of Durham; MSE Associate Minister Durham St Margaret and Neville’s Cross St John