17.08.2018 Rights of EU citizens and their families after Brexit

17.08.2018 Rights of EU citizens and their families after Brexit

Ahead of the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019, the UK government has reached an agreement with the European Union (EU) on citizens’ rights.

There is no need for EU citizens, or their family members, living in the UK to do anything now. An ‘implementation period’ will run from when we leave the EU to 31 December 2020. The rights of EU citizens and their families living in the UK will not change until 1 January 2021. Until this date, EU citizens will continue to be able to live here and access public funds and services as they do at the moment.

From later this year, EU citizens and their family members living in the UK will be able to start applying for UK immigration status through the new the EU Settlement Scheme for EU citizens and their family members.

From 1 July 2021, EU citizens and their family members in the UK must hold or have applied for UK immigration status to be here legally.

Settled status and pre-settled status

Getting a status under the EU Settlement Scheme means you can continue to live and work in the UK as you can now. You will continue to be eligible for:

  • public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • public funds and pensions, according to the same rules as now
  • British citizenship, if you meet the requirements

The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019. Your rights will not change until 2021 so there is no need for you to apply for status as soon as the scheme opens.

Eligibility

In most cases, eligibility for settled status will be based on whether you have lived in the UK for 5 years.

If you do not qualify for settled status because you have not lived in the UK for 5 years, you can be granted pre-settled status. Pre-settled status will allow you to stay here for a further 5 years and you will be free to live and work here and will have the same access to public funds and services as you do now. You can go on to apply for settled status once you have lived in the UK for 5 years.

Your application can only be refused for the following reasons: 

  • you weren’t resident in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • on the grounds of serious criminal convictions or for security reasons or fraud

Your existing close family members (a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependent child or grandchild, and dependent parent or grandparent) living in the UK or overseas are also eligible for the scheme.

Permanent residence status under EU law

Settled status will replace the current permanent residence status after the implementation period ends. A permanent residence document confirms that you have rights under EU law. In the future, EU law will no longer apply and the migration and status of EU citizens will be subject to UK law. You will be able to exchange this document for settled status free of charge under the EU Settlement Scheme and we won’t repeat any assessment of residence.

People who already have indefinite leave to remain

If you already have indefinite leave to remain this will not be affected by the UK leaving the EU. However, settled status gives some better rights and if you would like to, you can exchange this for settled status free of charge.

Settled Status Application Fee: 

Settled status will cost less than the fee for a British passport – £65 and £32.50 for children under 16. If you need help with you settled status application, please get in touch with us for a confidential discussion on +44 207 129 129 6

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