On 25 May 2018 new details emerged about the new ‘EU Exit Settlement Scheme’ which is being introduced to implement the rights of EU citizen following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. These additional details were published as part of the Home Office’s response to the Home Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons report on the Home Office’s delivery of the immigration component of Brexit.
As many people are now aware, the UK government will launch a new registration scheme for EU nationals by the end of 2018, which will replace the existing application process for UK residence documentation. As this scheme is being implemented under the existing Immigration Rules, status for EU citizens will be granted under domestic law.
Previously, the government had referred to a new ‘settlement status’ being granted to EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for five years. The Home Office has now announced that this status will actually be called indefinite leave to remain (“ILR”). This is the same status granted to those who make successful applications for settlement under the Immigration Rules.
EU citizens who are successful in their applications will benefit from the same rights afforded to non-EU nationals who are settled in the UK “except insofar as the agreement makes special arrangements”. One of these special arrangements is that ILR granted under this scheme will lapse after five years’ absence from the UK instead of the usual two.
One important thing to note is that although comprehensive sickness insurance will no longer be a requirement for the purposes of obtaining settlement, it will still be required for accessing NHS services. This means that EU citizens will still need to have the necessary cover for any care that they require or receive in the UK.
At the present time, the Home Office are still working to secure an agreement with the remaining EEA states (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland. Further details regarding the EU Exit Settlement Scheme are also expected over the coming weeks.
Should you wish to discuss your immigration options with a member of our team, 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.