As Theresa May Pushes for Brexit and the government refuses to guarantee the rights of EU citizens and their dependents in the UK, there is uncertainty about what immigration controls the government will put in place following a possible Brexit in March 2019 and what may follow.
There are some things you can do that might reduce the considerable anxiety caused by Brexit.
It is advisable to protect your status by getting yourself documented, by doing this you and your family members are likely to benefit from whatever transitional arrangements the government puts in place.
There are two types of application that you can submit to the Home Office :--
- an application for a permanent residence card:- you may have acquired the right to permanent residence in the UK if you are an EEA national who has resided in the UK continuously for a period of 5 years or a non EEA family member who has resided lawfully with an EEA national in the UK for period of 5 years.
- an application for a registration certificate:- if you are an EEA national already in the UK as a qualified person ( either a worker, student , self-employed or a self sufficient person )you can apply for a registration certificate and your non EEA family members can apply for a residence card as your dependents.
It is very important to prepare your application properly prior to submitting it to the Home Office. The Home Office recommends that the documents should be spread evenly throughout the 5 years and come from different sources. As a part of your application you should submit a narrative of your immigration history in the UK.
At present there are no immediate change to your rights and status in the UK as a result of referendum.
After an initial agreement on "divorce issues" was reached on December 8th Theresa May pledged that EU citizens' rights would be written into UK law.
After the announcement Theresa May wrote an open letter reading:
“So right now, you do not have to do anything at all. You can look forward, safe in the knowledge that there is now a detailed agreement on the table in which the UK and the EU have set out how we intend to preserve your rights – as well as the rights of UK nationals living in EU countries."
In September 2017, a leaked Home Office paper revealed the UK plans to cap the number of low-skilled EU migrants - confirming an end to free movement after Brexit.
Freedom of movement allows EU citizens to live and work in and in certain circumstances access the welfare system of any other EU country.
The government document, dated August 2017, spells out dramatic plans to slash the number of Europeans entering Britain. Bosses may also be forced to recruit British workers first before looking overseas and ministers may restrict new work permits to occupations where there is a shortage of workers.
In January 2018 one of Theresa May’s new ministers has claimed the UK’s plan to drop the EU charter of fundamental rights after Brexit
would help avoid an “extra layer” of human rights, contradicting the government’s assurance that no protections would be lost.
In an article written for the Telegraph
she said the government was right not to copy the charter into the EU withdrawal bill because otherwise “lawyers will love the extra layers of rights and the fees that they bring, and it’s also a core part of the Brussels project too”.
The Home Office has made the following proposal through government website :
“The UK government has reached an agreement with the European Union on citizens’ rights in negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. This will provide certainty about the future to millions of EU citizens and their families in the UK. Most importantly, it will allow you to stay here after we leave the EU on 29 March 2019, and to continue to access public funds and services.”
- People who, by 29 March 2019, have been continuously and lawfully living here for 5 years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting ‘settled status’. That means they will be free to live here, have access to public funds and services and go on to apply for British citizenship.
- People who arrive by 29 March 2019, but won’t have been living here lawfully for 5 years when we leave the EU, will be able to apply to stay until they have reached the 5-year threshold. They can then also apply for settled status.
- Family members who are living with, or join, EU citizens in the UK by 29 March 2019 will also be able to apply for settled status, usually after 5 years in the UK.
- Close family members (spouses, civil and unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents) will be able to join EU citizens after exit, where the relationship existed on 29 March 2019.
There is no need to panic as there is no immediate change to your status and rights but now is a good time to take steps to protect your position.
At Duncan Lewis we have a team of specialist immigration solicitors who may be able to assist you. Please get in touch with our Directors Mrs Tamana Aziz
on 02031141130 and Mr Vicash Ramkissoon
Author, Tamana Aziz, is an accredited Supervisor and Level 2 Senior Caseworker under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme. Tamana deals with a wide variety of immigration cases, including Business Immigration under the Points Based System, having developed an expertise in dealing with complex appeals (including deportation appeals and country guidance cases) in the Immigration Tribunals, High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Tamana deals with both individuals and businesses and has particular expertise assisting clients with immigration applications under EU law.
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors
Duncan Lewis' Immigration department is ranked as a top-tier practice in Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay matters in Legal 500 2017. As one of the UK’s leading firms of immigration specialists we are able to advise on business immigration and right to work in the UK, Tier-2 visa applications and appeals, student and graduate visas, spousal visas and visa overstays.
Duncan Lewis immigration lawyers can also advice on illegal entry to the UK, the Modern Slavery Bill, and UK immigration law and the Human Rights Act. We are able to provide advice on asylum applications and appeals, including appeals against deportation and immigration detention issues under the Human Rights Act.
For expert legal advice on UK business immigration or UK immigration law, call Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors on 0333 772 0409.
For urgent legal advice on immigration detention, call the Duncan Lewis Solicitors 24-Hour Emergency Helpline on 0333 772 0607, where an accredited immigration lawyer is available 24/7.