Migrate’s MD Jonathan Beech highlights main points from Home Office guidelines.
- EU citizens and their family members already resident in the UK by 29th March 2019 will be welcome to stay under the current rules of free movement. They will have until 31st December 2020 to make an application for ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-settled’ status;
- Once free movement has ended from 30th March 2019, EU citizens arriving from this date for the first time will require permission to remain under the UK immigration rules. For those wishing to stay for more than 3 months, they will need to apply for temporary leave to remain valid for 3 years. This allows work and study but is non extendable. To stay longer or be able to re-enter, they will need to meet the UK skills based immigration system still under review;
- Up until December 2020, the Home Office will not ask employers to start distinguishing between EU citizens who were resident before exit and post-exit arrivals;
- EU citizens will still be able to use e-gates if they have biometric passports. Until 31st December 2020, EU citizens will be able to enter the UK by showing either a valid national ID card or a passport;
- Irish citizens are not affected by a no-deal and will continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK as now;
- The arrangements noted here for EU citizens will also apply to EEA group members (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein plus Switzerland).
- Regarding the ‘Settled’ & Pre-Settled’ status application process, this is still in its public trial stage. There is still no obligation for EU citizens to apply, but they can do so as a matter of reassurance. Decisions on these applications are coming though in less than a week in the majority of cases.