BY SCO Admin | May 3 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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EU citizens are a valued part of Scotland and must be welcomed and protected, bishops say

EU citizens are a valued part of Scotland’s communities and must be welcomed and protected, the Church in Scotland has said as it seeks to raise awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme.

The scheme is open to citizens of EU member states plus those from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, as well as their family members.

Successful applicants are granted immigration status confirming their right to continue living and working in the UK indefinitely after Brexit.

People who have lived continuously in the UK for five years or more can obtain settled status.

Those who have lived in the UK for less than five years can acquire pre-settled status, which can later be converted into settled status.

 

Bishops’ support

In a letter to all parishes, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said the Church in Scotland is ‘committed to supporting all EU citizens who have made their home here.’

“The Church has experienced first-hand the extensive contribution that people from across Europe have made to our society,” it reads.

“They are an integral and valued part of our parishes, schools and communities.

“As the majority of EU citizens are Catholic, raising awareness of the EU Settlement Scheme is a special pastoral responsibility.”

 

Integration

It adds: “We ask all Catholic parishes, schools and organisations to bring the settlement scheme to the attention of all who need to avail of it and also to be aware of vulnerable people who may not realise they need to apply.

“We urge the whole Catholic community to take up Pope Francis’ call to welcome, protect, promote and help to integrate everyone who has made their home here.”

Parishes are encouraged to refer people to the website for the scheme, which remains open until June 30, 2021. Applications are free of charge.

Scotland’s Catholic population has been boosted in recent years by arrivals from the EU, and a number of priests in the country are EU citizens.

For more info on the scheme, visit www.eucitizensrights.campaign.gov.uk or call 0300 123 737

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