The Home Office has issued a statement clarifying the position on immigration into the UK for EEA citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
This follows a previous statement from the Home Office which advised that “freedom of movement will end” on 31 October 2019 in a no-deal scenario.
The current position is that as of 1 November 2019, EEA citizens will still be able to enter the UK freely, without a visa, and so in theory there will be no change to the process at the port of entry.
However, in order to reside and remain in the UK to work, study, be self-employed or self-sufficient, EEA and Swiss nationals will be required to apply under the European Temporary Leave to Remain Scheme (Euro TLR), a status lasting three years.
The scheme will not open until confirmation of a no-deal scenario and after the UK leaves the EU.
The application will be a simple online process establishing identity, security and criminality checks. Applicants will receive a digital status for three years enabling them to work and rent property during that period. After three years the EEA national will be required to apply under the new points-based immigration rules, which should be introduced in early 2021 This new system is currently under review by the Migration Advisory Committee.
In the event of a deal, freedom of movement will continue during a transition period whilst the UK and the EU negotiate a future trading relationship, as things stand currently, EEA nationals should apply for pre-settled or settled status by 30 June 2021.
For Employers, how does this effect Right to Work checks?
Employers are not required to distinguish between EU citizens who arrived before Brexit, and those who arrived after Brexit, until the future immigration system is introduced in 2021.
What should an EEA national be considering as their next steps?
If you are an EU citizen and are living in the UK with your family before 31 October 2019, you will have until at least 31 December 2020 to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, whether there is a deal or no deal. If you are not currently residing in the UK, you would need to enter the UK before 31 October 2019 with the intention to permanently reside here in order to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme. If you do not enter before this date, an application would need to be made under Euro TLR – as discussed above.
Gherson have extensive experience in regards to Brexit. If you have any questions or queries relating to these categories, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Trainee Solicitor and joint head of our corporate team