The world was closing in on me… I am so grateful everything is now sorted

I came to live in the UK from Spain in the winter of 1965 and it’s been my home ever since. I was working in a hospital and was given freedom to work in 1970 and I have all the paperwork from the Home Office to prove it.

In 2021 I was coming back from holiday and the border police stopped me and asked how long I would be staying in the UK. They told me they’d never seen my paperwork before and said that because of Brexit a lot of people had to reapply for the right to stay in the country.

I went on the internet and tried to get to the Home Office website but I couldn’t get my head straight. Because I’d had a nasty accident, my left hand wasn’t working properly and I could only use my right hand. I couldn’t do it.

I got some help from a group that looks after elderly people and they put me in touch with South West London Law Centres. I spoke to Sabira: she was very sympathetic to my case and because I couldn’t walk at the time, she said she would come to where I was. That was beautiful. I am very grateful.

It took a long time to sort it out. I was suffering the consequences of coming out of hospital and it was very hectic. My partner also needed help or she was going to be kicked out of the country. It was a nightmare and I didn’t understand why the Home Office was putting us through it all, but Sabira did a fantastic job and was very professional.

I was so relieved when my up-to-date status came through. It’s grand to know I can stay in the country. I’m extremely grateful for the way Sabira managed to get me settled status. It’s one less thing to worry about and I’m very glad I got her.

Antonio is a Spanish national who received Indefinite Leave to Remain in the 1970s. He is now in his late 70s and has multiple health issues. He required an up-to-date immigration status as the documentation he was originally sent was no longer recognised and he needed to access NHS services. He is digitally excluded and was unable to complete an online application himself. Our EUSS caseworker submitted an online application and uploaded supporting evidence on his behalf and requested the EUSS grants team make a quick decision because of his vulnerabilities. Antonio has now received his settled status under the EUSS. Our caseworker also submitted an application for his partner as his joining family member. This was granted a few days after Antonio’s.