Following months of uncertainty, on Friday 8th December 2017, the Home Office clarified the position for European nationals living in the UK for when the United Kingdom (UK) formally exits the European Union at 11pm on the 29th March 2019.
The UK Government has reached an agreement with the European Commission on Citizens’ rights. Similar protections will be offered to UK nationals living in the European Union.
Some highlights of the agreement include:
- A new ‘User Friendly’ scheme to be launched in 2018 for European nationals looking to apply for Permanent (Settled) Status.
- The residency period for settled status remains a continuous period of five years.
- For EU nationals entering the UK before the 29th March 2019, they can apply for settled status after 5 years of lawful residence.
- For those who do not qualify for the 5 year requirement but arrive by 29th March 2019, they will be able to apply for permission to stay on until they reach the 5 year threshold. They can then apply for settled status.
- All family members who are living with or join EU citizens by 29th March 2019 will also be able to apply for settled status after 5 years in the UK. Children born after exit are protected if their parents are protected. Close family members will be able to join their families in the UK after the exit.
- Rights to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK will remain the same.
- For European nationals already in possession of a Permanent Residence Card, they will be able to exchange this for the most recent version free of charge. They will, however, have to declare any convictions and that they intend to reside in the United Kingdom.
Whilst the Home Office have repeatedly announced that European nationals do not need to do anything at this stage, we would urge anyone looking to make an application to do so sooner rather than later.
Duncan Lewis Solicitors have a dedicated team assisting European nationals post Brexit in regularising their status and advising them on all aspects of the European Regulations.
For further information please contact us for a no obligation, confidential discussion on 0203 114 1271 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author: Shyam Dhir
Shyam is a Business Immigration solicitor at Duncan Lewis and has a track record of assisting clients in this area of law and subsequently naturalising as British Citizens. Clients have described Shyam as ‘professional’, and ‘very efficient’. He has dealt with a number of complex applications under European law, including appeals.