EU citizens and their families have to apply to the scheme to remain in the UK now that the UK is leaving the EU.
A total of 3,790 of the 10,530 people in Bedford Borough who have followed the government’s guidance and applied to the new settled status scheme have been given pre-settled status rather than settled status - 6,680 have been granted settled status.
That means they now face a temporary situation in which they will have to reapply for the permanent right to remain within 5 years.
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Liberal Democrat Councillor Hilde Hendrickx spoke in support of local EU citizens at the last Full Council meeting.
She said: “The Government’s callous approach on this issue is causing huge anxiety and distress for thousands of EU nationals in Bedford Borough.
“People who have chosen to make this their home on the basis that they had a right to stay are now being made to jump through bureaucratic hoops. Even then many are only being given temporary status.
"This includes many children and their families, and it is simply an appalling betrayal of people who were promised that they would see no change.
“Meanwhile many people may not be aware that their friends, neighbours and colleagues in our communities are being put through this process, in spite of the promises they were given.”
The rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK will change after June 30, 2021, and all EU nationals are strongly advised to apply to the settlement scheme as soon as possible to establish their right to remain under the new arrangements.
For more about the EU Settlement scheme and to make an application visit: www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families.