Brexit Blog: Immigration
Hesham Shoeb, an Associate at Barlow Robbins Solicitors helps explain what happens to EU, EEA, Swiss Nationals living or coming to the UK after Brexit
Should the UK leave the EU on the 29th March 2019 with a deal, EEA nationals and their family members who have been living in the UK prior to 29th March 2019 will be required to apply for either Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status by the end of December 2020. This includes those who already have permanent residency in the UK. EU and Swiss nationals residing in the UK prior to 29th March 2019, will be able to apply for Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status when the scheme fully opens on 30th March 2019. EEA nationals arriving in the UK after 29th March but prior to December 2020 will be eligible to apply for Pre-Settled Status, in order to accrue the required 5 years residence to be eligible for Settled-Status.
As part of the UK Government’s contingency planning for a “no deal” scenario, a new policy paper has been published setting out the proposed rights of EEA and Swiss nationals arriving in the UK after the 29th March 2019 if no deal is agreed with the EU. It is proposed that between 30th March 2019 and 31st December 2020, EEA & Swiss nationals will be able to stay in the UK for up to 3 months without having to apply for an Immigration status. They will be automatically granted leave to enter by order, which will mean they can stay for up to three months and will be permitted to work and study, which will mean they can start those activities on arrival.
Those wishing to stay longer than 3 months will have to apply for a new status called European Temporary Leave to Remain. Those granted European Temporary Leave to Remain will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date of their application. It will be a temporary, non-extendable immigration status, and will not give rise to settlement rights. Non EEA family members will have to apply for a permit before accompanying them or joining them in the UK. The application will need to be made within 3 months of arriving in the UK. Applicants will have to prove their identity and declare any criminal convictions. Anyone considered a serious or persistent criminal threat will not be eligible to apply. After January 2021, EEA and Swiss nationals will have to apply for status under the new Immigration system. Those who do not qualify will have to leave the UK when their European Temporary Leave to Remain expires.
Hesham Shoeb is an Associate at Barlow Robbins Solicitors which provides legal advice and technical support to businesses and private individuals in respect of all Immigration & Employment matters.