The Home Office has today (Monday 25 March) launched a new nationwide marketing campaign to encourage EU citizens to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme ahead of its full launch on Saturday 30 March.
The campaign will be visible at around 6,000 sites across the UK including in every major city.
Outdoor advertising at key locations this week will be followed by eye-catching adverts on catch-up TV, radio, social media and online once the scheme is fully up and running on Saturday 30 March.
Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said:
It is my priority to make sure that EU citizens, who have built their lives here and who have contributed so much to our society, continue to feel welcome in the UK.
That is why I am launching this UK wide campaign, which will include billboards and radio advertising, so that everyone who is eligible knows how to apply and gets the status they need.
I want EU citizens to stay and to continue to call the UK their home and I would encourage all EU citizens to apply once the scheme goes live.
The scheme, which has been designed in close consultation with EU citizens, employers and community groups, is free and simple to use via a brand new online application process.
It enables EU citizens to protect the rights they currently have in the UK. Applicants will only need to prove their identity, demonstrate their UK residence, and declare any criminal convictions.
Deal or no deal, EU citizens will have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply.
The application process has been thoroughly tested since August 2018 and so far nearly 200,000 people have received status under the scheme.
To ensure the scheme is a success, the Home Office has boosted EU Settlement Scheme staff numbers to over 1,500, developed an entirely new case working system and created a new resolution centre to resolve telephone, email and online queries.
The initial campaign which has been allocated around £3.75 million will run for around a month, with further activity planned over the next two years to ensure EU citizens understand what they need to do.
The advertising has been extensively tested with EU citizens and while the content of the campaign will be in English, translated guidance in all EEA languages will be available online.
The campaign complements extensive engagement already undertaken by the Home Office, including online toolkits for employers, community organisations and local authorities to help these groups support EU citizens directly and prepare them for the application process.
The department has also committed up to £9 million of funding to supporting voluntary and community sector organisations who can assist EU citizens who are vulnerable or at risk in making their application.
A report on the public beta test phase will be published after its conclusion on 30 March 2019. Plans are currently being developed for the routine publication of official statistics on the scheme as it progresses.