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Home Office Attempts To Discourage EU Nationals Applying For Permanent Residence in the UK

Law Firm Advises Individuals To Press On With Application

26.04.2017

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Leading law firm Irwin Mitchell has said it will continue to advise EU nationals who are looking to stay permanently in the UK – despite the Home Office saying that they should not apply.

So far in Brexit announcements, the Government has refused to grant the 3 million EU nationals in the UK the right to remain and work after the UK leaves the UK until the 1.1 million British expats in the EU are given the same guarantee.

As a result of the uncertainty that exists, residency applications from EU citizens have increased significantly from below 10,000 in the summer of 2015 to around 45,000 in the same three-month period in 2016. According to the latest statistics, over 90,000 applications were received in 2016.

The Home Office website is however now urging people sign up to receive an email alert which will inform them of any changes to their circumstances rather than apply for residency. It says: “You do not need to do anything as a result of Article 50 being triggered.

“There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU.

“Under EU law you don’t need a document to confirm your residence status in the UK. If you’re planning to apply for a document just to confirm your status, you can sign up for email alerts instead.

“These email updates will let you know about developments that might affect you, including the steps that you may need to take to confirm your status in the UK after we leave the EU.”

Padma Tadi, an employment lawyer and immigration law specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“There is a huge amount of uncertainty on this issue currently, but it is unrealistic for people who live and work here to do nothing and just take a wait and see approach. The Home Office is legally obliged to issue an EU law residence document within six months of application and failure to issue the relevant documents within this timescales can result in the Home Office being liable to pay compensation.

“The Government is attempting to slow things down and avoid these fines, but our advice to our clients who are concerned is not to stop applying, but rather continue with the process and accept that there will be delays.”
Padma Tadi, Senior Associate Solicitor