Older EU nationals at risk of losing right to continue to live in NI

Age NI has joined forces with the Commissioner for Older People NI and other organisations across the UK to call on the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to extend the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme, due to concerns that some older people may lose their rights to continue living in the UK.

They say that extending the deadline would enable opportunities for further publicity of the requirement to register for the scheme, more targeted promotion of the support available and increased time for older people to complete their applications

 Linda Robinson, Chief Executive of Age NI said,

 We are calling on the Home Secretary to extend the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme, as we fear many older people, including some in nursing homes, have been unable to register, or may be entirely unaware of their requirement to do so by 30 June 2021. What we do not want to see is any older EU national, who may have lived in Northern Ireland for decades, lose their rights to health and social care, housing or benefits as a result of not registering for settled status within the current deadline.

A digital focus on communications, an emphasis on the status of workers rather than retired individuals, and limited social interaction during the pandemic, have combined to limit the opportunities for older people to find out about the scheme, get support if needed and take action. Advice NI and STEP are offering support to EU nationals of all ages, who need information or assistance in applying for the EU Settlement Scheme.

Read the letter to the Home Secretary 

1: Letter signatories are as follows

Heléna Herklots CBE, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
Victoria Lloyd, Chief Executive, Age Cymru
Brian Sloan, Chief Executive, Age Scotland
Dr Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive, Scottish Care
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK
Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive, Independent Age
Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland
Linda Robinson, Chief Executive, Age NI