With the Brexit date of 29 March 2019 fast approaching, much has been said in recent weeks about the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, with the spectre of crashing out of the EU without an agreement remaining a possibility.
The implications of the UK leaving the EU without a deal would be felt widely, not least in respect of the arrangements currently in place for EU immigration. With the possibility of a no-deal Brexit currently a realistic proposition, the Government has issued revised guidance on what the EU immigration provisions will be were this to happen.
The new policy seeks to establish the Government’s stated aim of ending EU free movement as soon as possible (if there is no deal) via provisions in the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, which is currently being debated in Parliament. The new proposals will require both the successful passage of this bill together with further implementing legislation.
Under these revised proposals, the position is that if there is a no-deal Brexit, EU nationals will be able to enter the UK (as they can do currently) in order to visit, study or work for a period of three months. This arrangement will be transitional and time-limited. If an EU national wishes to stay in the UK for longer than three months, they will have to apply for and be granted a new status called European Temporary Leave to Remain. This application will need to be made within three months of their arrival. This status will be valid for a further three years and applicants will have to undergo identity, security and criminality checks. It is currently envisaged that the initial three-month permission would not attract any application fees, but that the European Temporary Leave to Remain application will have to be paid for.
These revised provisions will also apply to citizens of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland arriving in the UK on or after 30 March 2019. However, this temporary arrangement will not apply to EU nationals already living in the UK before 29 March 2019, who will have until 31 December 2020 to preserve their residency status by applying under the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme. Irish citizens will not need to apply under the European Temporary Leave to Remain scheme and will retain the right to enter and live in the UK under the Common Travel Area provisions.
Gherson has extensive experience of dealing with all aspects of EU immigration and applications under the EU Settlement Scheme. If you require any advice or assistance in respect of your personal circumstances, 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.