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Demand for immigration advice grows

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Demand for immigration advice grows

Growing numbers of people have been seeking immigration advice from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS), according to new figures.

European citizens who contacted CAS regarding pre-settled and settled status increased by 16 per cent in November to 1,237.

And the service is anticipating that demand will increase ahead of the deadline for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens to apply for settled status in the UK at the end of June.

CAS strong communities spokesperson, Gillian Fyfe, said: “The growing demand for immigration advice reflects the level of uncertainty around the process of the future relationship between the UK and the EU towards the end of the year.

“With so much uncertainty around the issue of Brexit this year and how things may look once the transition period ends in January it’s understandable for people to feel unsure about their rights.”

By the end of November, over four million people had applied for settled status, including 225,500 living in Scotland.

To be eligible, a person must be living in the UK before 30 December 2020. It is free to apply.

Over half of applicants have been granted settled status, while 43 per cent were granted pre-settled status. Less than one per cent of applications were refused.

The EU citizens support service, funded by the Scottish Government and Home Office, has helped 10,145 people apply since its launch in spring 2019.

The Scottish Government has been encouraging people to submit an application to ensure they can stay in the UK, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon writing an open letter to do so earlier this month.

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