StrEEt Aware: Challenging Destitution and Homelessness for EEA Nationals in Edinburgh Thursday 19th September at 1pm

StrEEt Aware: Challenging Destitution and Homelessness for EEA Nationals in Edinburgh

A Partnership between the University of Edinburgh Free Legal Advice Centre, JustRight Scotland, Shelter Scotland and Streetwork Edinburgh

Student Information Session

Thursday 19th September at 1pm

MacLaren Stuart Room, Old College

We are launching an EU Settlement Scheme Law Clinic whereby EEA nationals who are currently living in the UK (pre-Brexit) are eligible to apply for pre-settled status (5 years limited leave to remain) or settled status (indefinite leave to remain), in order to secure their rights to live, work, and access services in the UK.

The scheme places the responsibility on the individual to apply (rather than on the UK government to identify and proactively assist people who have an existing right, to recognise that right).  The application process has been consistently criticised for being inflexible and difficult to access.  For example, the first stages of the application requires access to an up-to-date Android Smartphone and a current email account and mobile number, as well as the ability to read, and respond to email instructions in English.

If an EEA national who has a right to apply for pre-settled status or settled status does not do so before the deadline (currently 31 December 2020), they will automatically become illegally resident and subject to the hostile immigration environment policies.

There is therefore a significant imperative – in terms of safeguarding the current rights of EEA nationals and ensuring access to justice and – to support projects that bridge the gap and bring together caseworking resource and legal expertise to help vulnerable and at-risk EEA nationals to make these applications, at the earliest opportunity.

This is particularly pressing for EEA nationals who are street homeless and destitute, because a grant of settled status will confer immediate access to mainstream benefits, allowing access to more forms of stable accommodation and support.

This information session will explain how University of Edinburgh law students will be provided an opportunity to gain experience working directly with such individuals to bridge an access to justice gap, but supported and supervised by experienced caseworkers and lawyers to ensure good practice in approach to client care, and close supervision of their casework and legal preparation.