The process that EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK have to go through to apply for ‘settled status’ and the impact this is having on them will be uncovered following the launch of a new online survey.
The Settled Status Survey has been designed by Professor Tanja Bueltmann of Northumbria University and the non-governmental organisation the3million, which represents the rights of more than 3 million EU citizens at home in the UK.
The EU Settlement Scheme, known as the settled status scheme, is the UK government-run process through which EU citizens living in the UK have to apply to remain in the country once the UK leaves the EU.
The data collected through this new survey will be used to identify problems reported by those applying for settled status, as well as to inform understanding of the wider impact of the scheme.
This information will then be used to inform the campaign work of the3million, including lobbying the government in the run up to Brexit.
An expert in diaspora and migration history, much of Professor Bueltmann’s work explores the role of associations in spearheading and facilitating collective action.
Traditionally, Professor Bueltmann has worked on ethnic associations of British migrants overseas, but here her expertise in associational culture focuses on the role of the3million and exploring how EU citizens living in the UK have used associations to take a stand for their rights.
Professor Bueltmann said: “For EU citizens the EU referendum has thrown up many questions to do with belonging – many of them struggle with the fact that they have to apply for a new status in the place that already is their home.
“Better understanding the issues EU citizens are faced with during the application process for that new status, as well as the wider impact of the scheme and Brexit-related uncertainty, is, therefore, very important.
“The findings will serve to inform policy proposals, and are also likely to thrown up further questions about EU citizens and their place in communities throughout the UK that we will continue to investigate in future projects.”
This the first survey of this kind, where the3million have worked together with a migration expert, and it is hoped the results will provide further substance to the many anecdotal problems and concerns, raised by those who have already applied for settled status, allowing these to be formally captured and reported on.
Maike Bohn, co-founder of the3million, said: “Working together with Professor Bueltmann from Northumbria University on this survey is very important for us. The survey will enable systematic and rigorous analysis of key issues around the EU Settlement Scheme and allow us to push for policy change based on the findings.”
The Settled Status Survey is open to EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and non-EU/EEA/Swiss family members who have either applied for Settled Status and been granted a status; applied for Settled Status and are still waiting for a decision; applied for Settled Status, got a decision and have since become a British citizen; or have not yet applied for Settled Status (for whatever reason).
The survey closes on 20 December 2019. Anyone wanting to take part should visit https://northumbria.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/settled-status-survey before the closing date.