14.03.2018 EU nationals’ residency rights during Brexit transition

14.03.2018 EU nationals’ residency rights during Brexit transition

Theresa May has admitted that EU nationals who come to the UK during Brexit transition period, which is expected to run from the date of nominal Brexit on 29 March 2019 to the beginning of actual Brexit, will have the right to settle permanently in the UK.

Brexit policy paper made it clear that EU nationals who come to live and work in the UK after March 2019 will be given a five-year temporary residence permit, not the two-year one that was previously proposed by ministers.

However, the EU migrants who come to Britain after March 2019 will not have the same family reunification rights, as those EU nationals already resident in the UK who have secured “settled status”, once the transition period ends. Instead, family members who want to join the transition group will have to pass a ‘minimum income’ threshold test, which is currently set at £18,600, unlike relatives of EU citizens already here.

Brexit policy paper by the Home Office confirmed that those EU migrants arriving during the transition period and who register, within three months of arriving, would be able to remain lawfully in the UK working, studying or being self-sufficient for the five years needed to obtain settlement status.

Brexit policy paper says such rights were granted to EU nationals because “it is important to provide certainty to businesses and those EU citizens who wish to move to the UK during the implementation period as to the terms under which they will be able to remain in the UK and make a life here once the period is over”. The decision to guarantee long-term residency rights to those who arrived after March 2019 was welcomed by the British Chambers of Commerce as a ‘big step in the right direction, which would remove significant short-term uncertainty for families, businesses and wider communities’.

The British government hopes that this offer will be matched by a similar move by the 27 EU states to British citizens living in other EU countries.