MSP warns EU citizens putting off settled status applications

Gillian Martin MSP says EU citizens are unsurprisingly still confused about what applying for settled status means for them
Gillian Martin MSP says EU citizens are unsurprisingly still confused about what applying for settled status means for them

EU citizens living in North-East Scotland are facing difficulty applying for settled status as Brexit uncertainty continues, an MSP has warned.

Aberdeenshire East MSP Gillian Martin held an EU Brexit information drop-in surgery in Mintlaw and Inverurie at the weekend to discuss constituents’ concerns.

But Ms Martin has warned oconfusion over ways to apply for settled status, clarity over whether the UK’s exit will take place later this month or be delayed, and fears over having applications rejected, has stopped people from applying.

There are currently three ways for citizens to apply which include using a phone app only available to android users, applying in person in Edinburgh and making an application on a desktop computer.

And although the £65 fee was waived after mounting criticism and pressure from opposition parties, those who applying before the end of March will still have to pay and be reimbursed at a later date.

Commenting, Ms Martin said: “EU citizens are unsurprisingly still confused about what applying for settled status means for them. Many people who came to see me were married to Scots, had children born here or had lived in Scotland for decades and were worried about their long term status.

“The whole process has been made more complicated by the multiple ways in which people can apply including an app which is only available for those with Android phones. There was also annoyance that the only face to face point of contact the UK Government had offered Scots to scan documents and get assistance was in Edinburgh.

“The overwhelming sense I received from those who came to ask my staff and I for information was one of extreme uncertainty and confusion.

“Many of those constituents have been here for years, living, working and making their lives in Aberdeenshire.

“My surgeries threw up a whole raft of questions that I had previously not considered, and I will be writing many letter to the UK Government for clarity over the next week on range of Brexit related issues.

“I would like to urge any of my constituents who are EU citizens from other EU countries to please contact my office so that we can help answer any queries and get in touch with the Home Office on your behalf.”