EU Nationals and Brexit – Breytenbachs advice
EU nationals who are currently in the UK do not need to take any action for now and can continue their life as normal.
However, we strongly advise all our clients to apply for confirmation of their immigration status as soon as possible. In particular, EU nationals and their family members who have already lived in the UK for a consecutive five year period (and meet all relevant criteria) can apply for permanent residence and after that for British nationality.
If an EU national has lived and exercised Treaty Rights in the UK for at least five years (e.g., as a worker, self-employed, self-sufficient person, etc.) his/her child born in the UK may have an entitlement to register as a British national. The EU parent will not need to previously apply for permanent residence in order to submit the child’s citizenship application.
The Home Office announced that there will be no change to EU nationals’ current rights under EU law until 31 December 2020. A new settlement scheme will be fully operational between 30 March 2019 and 31 December 2020. EU citizens and their family members who, by 31 December 2020, will have been continuously resident in the UK for five years will become eligible for settled status and will become free from any immigration control. EU nationals who enter the UK by 31 December 2020, but will not yet have been continuously resident here for five years, will be eligible for pre-settled status. They will be able to apply for settled status as soon as they complete a 5 year residence period in the UK.
Registration under the new scheme will not be mandatory until 30 June 2021. If EU nationals and their family members fail to apply by 30 June 2021 they will be in the UK unlawfully, even if they currently have a registration certificate or permanent residence document issued under EU law. Irish citizens will not be required to apply under the new scheme but their non-EEA national family members will be required to obtain status under the scheme.
For more information, please speak to your Breytenbachs consultant.
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