We are a few short weeks away from Brexit. The UK will leave the EU at 11 pm on 29 March 2019 by automatic operation of law unless something else happens. The UK Government has now set out its policy for EU/EEA and Swiss citizens coming to the UK after 29 March 2019 in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
As previously discussed here, those EU citizens already residing in the UK by 29 March 2019 will be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (see here). The post-Brexit immigration system currently being considered (see here) by Parliament will come into force from 1 January 2021.
The Government has set out its temporary transitional policy to address what EU nationals who arrive between 30 March 2019 and 31 December 2020 will be obliged to do in the event of a no deal Brexit:
- EU citizens will be eligible to visit the UK for up to three months and will be permitted to work and study during this time. A period of leave valid for 3 months will be granted upon production of a valid passport or ID card at the border;
- EU citizens with biometric passports will be able to use e-gates;
- EU citizens who wish to stay longer than three months will need to apply to the Home Office for leave to remain (known as European Temporary Leave to Remain) within the three month period;
- European Temporary Leave to Remain can be applied for online, will incur a fee (yet to be determined) and will be subject to standard ID and criminal background checks;
- This leave will be granted for three years and will enable holders to work and study in the UK;
- Non-EU family members of these individuals will be able to accompany their EU family member, but will need to obtain a family permit prior to their arrival to the UK;
- Holders of this leave will not be able to qualify for settled status or indefinite leave to remain
- Holders of this leave who wish to stay beyond the three year period will be required to apply under the post-Brexit immigration system due to come into force from 1 January 2021;
- These arrangements cover EFTA states (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) as well as all countries of the EU; and
- Irish citizens will retain the right to live and work in the UK under Common Travel Area provisions, and will retain the right to travel to, live and work in the UK and will not need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain
These proposals are of course subject to Parliamentary approval. EU nationals already here on 29 March 2019 will be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme as agreed (see here)
Sacha and her team are monitoring this evolving situation and will continue to update our clients.