EU Nationals in Brighton & Hove and the EU Settlement Scheme

Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in December 2018 estimated that there were 19,000 residents in Brighton & Hove who were born in the EU.

This figure was presented with confident intervals that could mean up to 7,000 more or less actually live in the city but these are presently the best estimates the council have.

It is important to note that some EU residents may have been granted citizenship in the past and we do not know the number of residents who may have left the city since the ONS estimate or who may have chosen not to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

EU Settlement Scheme Quarterly Statistics

August 2020 Update

20,280 EU citizens from Brighton & Hove have now applied to the scheme. 1,590 EU citizens applied to the scheme in the 3 months between 1st April 2020 and 30th June 2020.

This is the lowest number of applicants recorded in the quarterly statistic release since the scheme began. We can assume the low number of applications has been due to Covid impacts in April, May and June.

In relation to Covid, at the beginning of April the Home Office announced that application processes for the EUSS would now be longer than usual owing to social distancing guidance, however this is expected to change as capacity returns to pre-Covid levels for processing applications. Support services and application routes have reopened where possible in line with public health guidance. This includes the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and the postal route for submitting identity documents for applicants who are unable to use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to verify their identity. The deadline for applying for EU nationals resident in the UK before the end of the Transition Period remains 30th June 2021. Those entering the country from 1st January 2021 will be subject to the new points-based immigration system.

Although the ‘grace period’ allows EU nationals to apply to the scheme up to 30 June 2021, it is unclear at present how landlords and employers can distinguish between EU nationals resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 and new arrivals within that period. They may therefore refuse to accept EU passports as the only proof of eligibility to work and rent. The council will be messaging local private landlord associations through the Housing Partnership to highlight this issue and working with Brighton Chamber and the Economic Partnership to ensure messaging is relayed to local businesses in regards to the rights of EU nationals.

Find more information on quarterly statistics on the GOV.UK website


EUSS - Local Support & Awareness Raising

The council continues to signpost to the EUSS application process through its website, social media and local advertising and provide details of related local and national advice including support for local vulnerable EU nationals. Signposting information will be shared through a maildrop to the city in October.

The council does not directly provide EUSS advice to EU nationals in the city but options are currently being explored to provide immigration advice to rough sleepers through a funding bid to MHCLG. The council is also exploring ways to develop instructional/Q&A sessions that could be delivered by remote means or in consideration of current social distancing measures.

ID Verification Service

Due to Government guidance released on 16th March related to Covid further drop-in sessions at Brighton Town Hall Register Office were suspended for the foreseeable future. ID verification services have since been suspended across the UK.

The reintroduction of this service is now being sought through other appropriate customer focussed council services with relevant fraud awareness training, although delays to this are anticipated depending on current social distancing measures and officer capacity.

EUSS Advice & Support for Vulnerable EEA migrants

Migrant Help are continuing to provide advice in Brighton & Hove for vulnerable EEA migrants who need help to register under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Migrant Help adviser Charlotte Cheeseman continues to provide remote advice and application support across East Sussex & Surrey. The ID postal submissions service was suspended in March but has now been reinstated. This had caused delays to applications.

The Home Office announced in March that the funding for advice for vulnerable EU nationals would be continued with a new procurement process launched at the end of May. Migrant Help have declined to apply for the continued funding so will cease local support at the end of September 2020.

The council expects a Government decision to be made on successful applications in the coming month.