Document Lays Out Plans For EU Nationals Post-Brexit
Theresa May earlier this week announced proposals for how EU citizens will be able to live in the UK post-Brexit.
A 15-page policy paper outlines how the Government plans to protect the future rights of the 3.2 million EU nationals currently living in the UK by allowing them to apply for ‘settled status’.
The Prime Minister said all EU citizens lawfully living in the UK would be able to continue staying here for up to two years after Britain leaves the European Union and this period of ‘blanket residence permission’ would give officials time to process applications from EU citizens asking to stay in the UK.
The decision as to whether EU citizens are granted the right to live in the UK permanently will depend on how long they have been residing in the UK. However, individuals who have criminal records may find their applications being refused on public policy grounds.
The proposals state that EU nationals who've been in Britain for at least five years at a ‘specified date’ and are still living here will be entitled to apply for ‘settled status’.
This date has yet to be agreed, but would be between 29 March 2017 and the formal date of Brexit, which is expected to be in 2019. Once the status is confirmed, they will be able to live, work, study, claim benefits and use national services, in the same way in which they can do so upon successfully applying for UK citizenship and a passport after six years of residency.
It is proposed that those with less than five years’ residency at the ‘specified date’ will be able to continue living and working in the UK after Brexit by applying for ‘temporary residency’ after the two year grace period’ has elapsed. It has also been proposed that EU nationals will not have the same rights to sponsor family members, such as spouses to enter the UK, if they arrive in the UK after the ‘specified date’.
Expert Opinion“These plans will provide some comfort to the millions of settled and worried EU workers in the UK. However, many will be frustrated by the proposal that any EU nationals who have applied for permanent residency cards since the referendum must apply again but under the new ‘streamlined’ system.” Padma Tadi - Senior Associate Solicitor