The UK government and the European Union (EU) have agreed a common position regarding the immigration status of Europeans living in the UK after Brexit.
It is expected that the departure of the UK from the EU day will commence on 29 March 2019 and that there will be a transitional period of two years for Europeans and their family members to apply for a new status in the UK (see below).
Some important points of these agreement are:
- The agreement protects those Europeans and their family members who are legally residing in the UK by the date that the UK leaves the EU (expected to be 29.3.19).
- It will now be compulsory for all Europeans and their family members to have residence documents.
- During the transitional period (29.3.19 – 29-3-21) those Europeans and their family members who have been residing lawfully in the UK for 5 years or more will need to apply for “settled status” under the UK rules.
- Surprisingly, those who already have been issued with a permanent residence card will be asked to apply for “settled status” also.
- Europeans and their family members who have been residing in the UK for less than 5 years during the transition period will need to apply for a “temporary status”. This temporary status will give them the right to continue to live and work in the UK with a view to accumulating five years residence and qualifying for settled status.
- The common position excludes extended family members (except durable partners) such as brothers, cousins, etc. It is expected that this category of people will now only be able to come to the UK after 29.3.19 under the UK’s immigration laws which is practicable impossible.
- The deal also fails to cover various identified categories of vulnerable persons such as single mothers of European children residing in the UK.
As I mentioned before this is just a common position and remains to be seen what the final agreement says about Europeans and their family members residing in the UK.
For questions and answers about this agreement please have a look at: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/2017-12-12_qa_citizens_rights_1.pdf