More than a million British expats in Europe can dip into a £3 million emergency fund set up to protect their post-Brexit residency rights.
Charities and other expat support groups in the European Union can access the money with Brits living in Spain, France, Germany, Cyprus and Italy likely to benefit the most.
The UK Nationals Support Fund will allow charities and support groups to provide help for expats making residency applications, especially pensioners, the disabled and other vulnerable people.
Others who can apply for financial aid include those living in remote areas, anyone with mobility difficulties and expats with language or interpretation difficulties.
The government estimates more than 1 million British expats impacted by Brexit live in Europe.
Who gets the UK Nationals Support Fund cash?
Charities and organisations receiving money from the UK Nationals Support Fund include:
- The AIRE Centre
- Age in Spain
- Asociación Babelia
- Cyprus International Financial Services Association
- Franco British Network
- International Organisation for Migration
- SSAFA, the armed forces charity
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “These organisations are doing vital work to support UK Nationals in the EU and this funding will help secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, so that they are given the security and stability they need.
“Now that the UK has left the EU, some UK nationals living in certain EU member states will need to take actions to secure their residency rights, so that they can continue to live and work in their host country as now.”
Help with residency applications
The UK Nationals Support Fund is in addition to help for expats provided by British embassies.
“Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals living in the EU at the end of the transition period can continue to live and work in their host country,” said a Foreign Office spokesman.
“In many countries, UK nationals will need to register or apply for residency in order to secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. The exact steps they will need to take will vary by country.”
The Foreign Office is encouraging expats to stay in touch with Living Guides for each country on the government web site.
These guides offer country-specific information about what expats need to do to apply for residency.