BREXIT AND UK PERMANENT RESIDENCE
If you’re looking for more information on permanent residence as an EU or EEA national and would like to do your own visa application, check our website www.doyourownvisa.com for guidance and kits you can buy to be guided in the process.
Permanent Residence for EU Nationals living in the UK after Brexit: what will change and what will stay the same?
The UK is leaving the European Union on 29th March 2019. There are over 3 million EU nationals and their family members currently living in the UK. Many are now be wondering what will happen to their right to permanent residence in the UK after Brexit occurs.
There are others currently contemplating a move to the UK. Many are unsure if they can still do this with relative ease and be afforded the right to work and be given access to the NHS.
Right now EU nationals and their family members can apply to confirm their permanent residence status in the UK after living here continuously for at least 5 years whilst exercising their EU treaty rights (by working, studying, being self employed, self sufficient etc). After 6 years of residence, they also qualify to become a British Citizen by naturalisation.
This will not change until 29th March 2019.
What will change after Brexit?
Later in 2018 there will be a new system implemented by the Home Office in preparation for the changes that will occur post March 2019 for EU nationals and their family members wishing to confirm their status in the UK. Instead of applying to confirm their permanent residence, the process will be to apply for settled status in the UK. Basic eligibility requirements will be the same as now but the Home Office tells us that it will be a more streamlined application process.
Once an EU national or their family member has been granted settled status in the UK, they will be able to continue living in the UK freely on a permanent basis. They will continue to be able to work, study, have access to the NHS and public funds whilst living here.
When the new system is implemented, EU nationals who arrive in the UK before 29th March 2019 will be able to apply for a temporary permit which will allow them to stay until they have been resident in the UK for 5 years. They will then need to apply for settled status in order to be able to stay permanently. The same will apply to family members of EU nationals who live with them in the UK or join them here before 29th March 2019. Again, after 6 years they will become eligible to apply for British citizenship by naturalisation.
Citizenship rules will not change, as they are already British law.
EU nationals will still be able to come to the UK after Brexit happens, however we do not yet know what the requirements and eligibility criteria to stay in the UK will be for those that arrive after 29th March 2019. There will be a short transition period but little more has been decided yet about exactly how it work.
Should I apply to confirm my permanent residence status now?
EU nationals and their family members will be given up to 2 years after Brexit occurs to apply for settled status or for a temporary permit to continue living in the UK. This means that over 3 million people will potentially go through this process in a 2 year period. It may be a good idea to go ahead now and apply to confirm your status to avoid the bugs and delays that are likely to occur when so many people are suddenly required to go through the process at the same time.
EU nationals and their family members who confirm their permanent residence status before Brexit will not have to undergo the same application process as everyone else after March 2019 – it will be a simple process of exchanging their permanent residence document for a settled status document. They will not have to prove their residence or activity in the UK and there will be no cost for the exchange.
To find out more about how to make your application or for the kit that can help you with your UK permanent residence application, click here.