A councillor who has lived in the United Kingdom for 19 years and who is married to a British man and has two British children has been refused “settled status” by the Home Office.
Maggie Filipova-Rivers alleges she was informed that she had not produced papers from the last five years that explained why she should be able to stay in the United Kingdom after Brexit and a Home Office spokesperson said that Ms Filipova-Rivers couldn’t be refused settled status because she’d not yet made an application.
EU citizens, along with those from other countries, can apply as part of the EU Settlement Scheme to remain living in the United Kingdom following June 30, 2021 but the Liberal Democrat, who was elected in May, said she was annoyed about the way EU nationals were being handled but was positive that her case would be sorted eventually and the South Oxfordshire district councillor claims she has so far been able to get pre-settled status, which gives her fewer rights than settled status.
Originally from Bulgaria, she said she’s concerned about how other EU citizens currently living in the United Kingdom will prosper and that the most significant worry for her is that there is a tremendous threat for people who are economically inactive or those who have studied for a long time because there were a lot of nationals who came to the United Kingdom as students.
The Home Office asks applicants to produce a history of their past work, but it appears that those who had taken time out of work apparently are at a disadvantage to those who had not and that is something that the Goring councillor worries could put mothers who might have taken maternity leave, for instance, at a disadvantage.
Settled status can work if you came to the United Kingdom five years ago and worked for an employer and they paid tax on your behalf but numerous people will not be in that position because if you think about the skill spectrum, and the many zero-hour contracts or the construction sector, or those that might be casually employed, they won’t have the documentation or work history to provide.
This lady isn’t concerned about herself, but she is furious and she understands the implications. She can obtain legal help, but it comes at a price and she will be most likely absolutely fine and it’s a journey that she’s on with other EU nationals.
The councillor, who is currently South Oxfordshire District Council’s cabinet member for community services, came in the United Kingdom to take her A-Levels, before studying at Newcastle University but she’s worried that EU Citizens will face difficulties doing everyday activities, such as getting work, opening a bank account or renting a home if they don’t get settled status in the future and the freedom of movement for EU residents will end on October 31, the proposed date for Brexit.
However, that date is now uncertain.
But the answer is simple, present the right paperwork and EU nationals will be able to stay, and if they can’t provide it then there’ll be offered pre-settled status rather than being denied and the fact that you have a National Insurance number can easily determine how long you’ve worked in the United Kingdom but then Brexit started 3 years ago so why are people waiting till the last moment to apply?
On the other hand, it’s not fair that people who have lived in the United Kingdom most of their lives have their lives turned upside down for the sake of a piece of paper, when a National Insurance number would suffice.
However, this woman is scaremongering that mothers will not have evidence of earnings, but mothers who have a National Insurance number which is automatically credited to Child Benefit once claimed will have that proof but this lady just didn’t provide the right paperwork and as a councillor, she should have known what paperwork to provide.