EU nationals post Brexit - What's the latest?
According to the Office of National Statistics, between January and March 2018, there were 2.29 million EU nationals working in the UK, which was down 28,000 on last year. Could this be as a result of the fear and confusion around what will happen to EU nationals post Brexit?
Following pressure, the government have issued some guidelines about plans for EU nationals once the UK officially leaves the European Union, which may help to reassure some EU nationals as to whether they’ll need a UK visa.
EU Citizens living in the UK already
If you’re already settled and living in the UK, and will have been for five years by 31st December 2020, you’ll be able to remain indefinitely and will receive ‘settled status’. This will entitle you both to stay in the UK permanently, and also give you continued access to pensions, the health service and applicable benefits.
You will need to apply for settled status, and the government has assured EU citizens that they will make this process as simple as possible.
If you wish to, you will be able to go on and apply for British Citizenship at a later date.
EU Citizens planning to move to the UK by 31st December 2020
If you’re planning to move to the UK from an EU country between 31st March 2019 and 31st December 2020, the government have negotiated with the EU that you will be able to remain in the UK in the same way as those ordinarily resident.
You will, however, have to register if you wish to stay longer than three months. After five years you will be able to apply for settled status. You will be able to access benefits, health services and pensions as previously.
This will also apply to family members. If you’re settled in the UK by 31st December 2020 and then wish to bring over close, dependent family members after this time – such as spouses, children, parents, or grandparents – you should be able to do this, as long as the relationship existed before 31st December 2020.
It’s advisable to see a UK immigration lawyer to discuss this further if you’re not sure whether this would apply or to find out what your rights will be after 31st December 2020 if you won’t be resident by then.