THERE is now less than a year to go until the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme - and Wiltshire Council is encouraging EU nationals to apply.

The scheme allows people to demonstrate their continued right to live and work in the UK.

While Wiltshire Council is not responsible for checking people have registered, the EU settlement scheme is an important step towards retaining benefits as a resident of the UK.

Evidence of settled or pre-settle status is required when changing jobs, agreeing a tenancy or opening a bank account.

The scheme is open to nationals from the EEA and Switzerland and their family members.

This means people can apply if they are a national of any of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

If you are a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, you do not have to apply.

Those who have been in the UK for five years or more should be granted settled status which allows them to live and work in the UK indefinitely. This will only be lost if an individual has been absent from the UK for five years.

Anyone who has been in the UK for less than five years should be granted pre-settled status which can become settled at the five-year point, provided that they have not had excessive absences from the UK during the five-year period.

All EEA and Swiss nationals and their non-European family members who reside in the UK on or before December 31 2020 are able to apply for settled or pre-settled status.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: “We value those who have chosen to live or work in Wiltshire and we hope they will apply for this scheme.

“Although there is still a year to go, why not apply now and confirm your status in case there’s anything you might need that could delay your application.”

For the latest information and to apply, visit: