On 26 June 2017 the UK government published a document detailing their proposal on how EU citizens living in the UK following Brexit will be treated.
The full policy paper, named “Safeguarding the Position of EU Citizens Living in the UK and UK Nationals Living in the EU”, can be viewed here.
We have summarised the key points in the paper:
- Irish citizens are not affected by these proposals as they have additional rights under the Common Travel Area arrangements and will not need to apply for settled status;
- EU citizens in the UK will have to apply for their residence status using a process separate from the one currently in place;
- Qualifying individuals will be granted ‘settled status’ equivalent to permanent residence status currently in place for qualifying EU nationals;
- To qualify, individuals must have been resident in the UK before a ‘specified date’ – yet to be specified but expected to be between 29 March 2017 and the date of Brexit;
- Individuals with five years of continuous residence before the specified date can apply to settle, but those without 5 years of continuous residence in the UK must apply for limited leave to remain;
- EU citizens who already hold Permanent Residence in the UK will have to submit an additional application to certify their status;
- Non-EU family members joining EU nationals in the UK would be subject to UK immigration law, hence having to satisfy a higher threshold than under EU legislation.
European Council President Donald Tusk said the plan was "below expectations". As this document is only a proposal, it may be up for negotiation during the Brexit discussions. Additionally, these proposals could change following the unstable position of the current government following the loss of a Conservative majority in the House of Commons.
If any of these points are of concern to you, reach out to SA Law’s immigration team for assistance.