School census: know your rights
26th September 2016
This year, the national school census is changing to collect new information about children’s country of birth, nationality and ethnicity. Rights campaigners are concerned that this data collection could lead to discrimination against migrant pupils. Against Borders for Children (ABC) is coordinating a national boycott, and you can find much more information on their website.
About the census
Schools, nurseries, colleges and other education institutions have been instructed to collect country of birth and nationality data on pupils aged 2-19. The Department of Education have not said what they will use this information for.
What you can do
1) You don't have to provide this information. You can opt out of the questions on ethnicity and nationality, but not the rest of the census. If you want to write to your child’s school to opt out, ABC has produced a template letter.
2) If you have already provided this information, you have until 5th October 2016 to inform the school that you have changed your mind and no longer want this to be sent.
3) Some schools are asking for passports and birth certificates. You do not need to present them.
For ABC’s full guide for parents, click here.
For ABC’s frequently asked questions, click here.
EU Citizens Living in the UK: A Self-Help Guide
12th September 2016
For many EU citizens living in the UK, now is an uncertain time. In June, the UK voted to leave the European Union. This 'Brexit' vote has left many people questioning how it may affect their future. At the moment nothing has changed, as the UK has not yet left the EU. However there are steps that EU citizens may wish to take now, to help to secure their position and to influence the debate.
Adrian Berry, a Barrister at Garden Court Chambers and Chair of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA), has written an excellent blog entitled EU Citizens Living in the UK: A Self-Help Guide. The blog clearly explains the different steps that EU citizens should think about taking, and we would encourage anyone seeking information to read it. You can also follow Adrian's Facebook page focusing on immigration here.
New advice timetable launched
1st September 2016
Praxis’ advice services have a new timetable. Please see below for the new services, or download our new Advice Services Timetable here.
Praxis advice services from 1 September 2016
Tower Hamlets drop-in advice & form-filling session (TH residents only)
Weekly on Thursdays, 10am – 12.30pm
We can help Tower Hamlets residents with advice relating to:
• Welfare benefits
• Housing & homelessness
• Asylum support
• Debt adviser available fortnightly 11 – 12.30pm (from Thursday 8th September)
• Form-filling (please call or ask at reception to check which forms we can help with)
Pan-London immigration advice drop-in
Third Friday of every month, 10am – 12.30pm (16 September, 21 October, 18 November, 16 December)
This drop-in session is open to all, for matters relating to immigration. Please note that this session is very busy & we can usually only see the first 20 people who arrive. Please do come early as we see people on a first come, first served basis.
Telephone advice service: 020 7749 7608
Wednesdays: 2pm – 4.30pm
Our telephone advice service can provide advice on welfare benefits, housing & homelessness, asylum support, and immigration matters.
We have limited capacity to take external referrals. Please email us at email@example.com to check whether we can help.
DOWNLOAD PRAXIS ADVICE SERVICES TIMETABLE
How does Brexit affect EU citizens?
Updated 12th July 2016
The UK recently voted in favour of leaving the European Union (EU). This vote has become known as ‘Brexit’. The Brexit vote may result in some changes in UK law in the future. But how will it affect EU citizens currently living in the UK?
No change for now
At the moment nothing has changed, as the UK has not yet left the EU. The UK will have to negotiate exit from the EU, which is likely to take at least two years.
If you are an EU citizen living in the UK, at present:
- You can still live and work in the UK in the same way as before.
- You are able to leave and re-enter the UK in the same way as usual.
- Your rights in the UK remain exactly the same.
No one knows for certain what will happen during the process of negotiating exit from the EU. However the government has released a statement saying: "When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK....will be properly protected." You can read the full statement here.
Residence and Citizenship
Some people who are exercising EU rights may be eligible for ‘Permanent Residence’ (usually if you have been exercising EU rights in the UK for at least five years) or may even be eligible for British citizenship (if you have been exercising EU rights in the UK for six years or more) and may wish to consider applying for these. If you do wish to apply you should seek advice on your individual situation. You can also find the eligibility criteria for citizenship here.
What Praxis will do
Praxis continues to work with all vulnerable migrants and we will endeavour to keep you up to date with any news on changes to come. We are not able to assist with applications for Permanent Residence or naturalisation (British citizenship), but we can provide advice on eligibility and evidence requirements.
For more information, please download our factsheet:
PRAXIS FACTSHEET ON ‘BREXIT’
Praxis view on the EU referendum
24th June 2016
Today we have learned that the UK has voted to leave the European Union. Given the momentous nature of this referendum, debate surrounding it has dominated news headlines and national discourse over the past few months. Immigration has been a key issue for both campaigns, and at Praxis we have been alarmed to see an increase in inflammatory rhetoric – generating and exploiting fear of migrants for political gain.
We have also seen encouraging expressions of support for migrant communities, and a strong message that we have more in common than that which divides us. In the coming weeks and months, we must move forward and try to build a more welcoming and accepting society for all people. We must continue to stand up for the most vulnerable in our society, including those seeking refuge. We must respond with humanity and compassion.
Here at Praxis, EU citizens are a key part of our team and make an important contribution to our work. We will seek to fully support our valued European colleagues as the situation evolves.
The result of the referendum has been settled, but many questions remain. Not least; what is the future for the estimated 3 million non-British EU citizens currently living in the UK? Although the official Leave campaign has given assurances that any new immigration system would not affect this group, legal experts say the picture is much less clear.
There are significant and understandable concerns among EU citizens living here. At Praxis, we expect to see an increase in enquiries from worried EU migrants. We call on all parties to make it clear that all EU citizens living in the UK are a valued part of the country’s fabric and that their rights will be protected. We encourage our supporters to sign a petition to that effect, started by the organisation British Future, which is here.
If you would be interested in getting involved with our work, we’d love to hear from you. We urgently need motivated volunteers to join our team; click here to find out more. To keep up to date with our work, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.