Currently there are an estimated 3.7 million people living in the UK who are citizens of another EU country. The Office of National Statistics said recently the number of EU citizens coming to the UK in the year to September 2017 is an estimated 18 per cent fewer than the year before. In addition the amount of people leaving the UK has increased by 27 per cent year-on-year. The difference between those leaving the UK and entering the UK is now back at the level it was in 2012 - around 90,000 people.
In March, the UK and the EU announced that they had reached an agreement on what is to happen in the period after Brexit. In December 2017 an agreement on citizens’ rights was reached and now has been drafted in treaty text in order to be written into law. This means that if you are an EU citizen living in the UK before March 29, 2019 you will be able to continue to live and work in the UK. All rights in relation to work arrangements and access to benefits, including healthcare, will continue. In addition, existing close family members who are not living in the UK will be able to join in the same way as they can now.
To be eligible for settled status, an EU citizen will need to meet certain requirements including residence in the UK for at least five years. They won’t become a British nationals but will have permanent status in the UK.
A new scheme is being introduced which will enable EU citizens or their family members already living in the UK to apply for settled status. This scheme will be open until June 30, 2021. No other details have been released. Over the past few weeks there has been talk about a transition period. The agreement that has been reached is for the Citizens’ Rights to include EU citizens and their family members arriving in the UK during the period of March 30, 2019 to December 31, 2020. However, during this time, the new arrivals will need to register through a new registration scheme after three months of arriving in the UK.
It seems that a framework for immigration to the UK from the EU has been established, if only by verbal agreement up to the year 2021. As for what happens afterwards we will have to wait and see.
For further help or advice, please contact Lupton Fawcett’s Immigration specialists Arif Khalfe on 0114 2766607 or [email protected]