European Temporary Leave To Remain: What Is It?

13 Feb 2019, 00 mins ago

On behalf of what the official guidance has termed “a responsible government”, the Home Office has published official guidance on the European Temporary Leave to Remain scheme.

The reason for the reference to the government’s responsibility is that the European Temporary Leave to Remain scheme is a contingency plan in case the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement – i.e. a no deal Brexit. The European Temporary Leave to Remain status is designed for EEA citizens who may wish to come to the UK after 29 March 2019 in a no deal Brexit scenario. (EEA citizens are the nationals of the 28 countries currently making up the EU (including, at this time, the UK) along with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). This temporary leave status will also extend to Swiss nationals.

The current guidance makes it clear that for a transitional period (if there is a no deal Brexit) EEA citizens will be able to come to the UK in the same way as they do presently. Additionally, no permission or immigration status will be required for any EEA citizen wishing to stay in the UK for less than three months. The key difference, however, is that when free movement ends and before the government’s proposed new immigration system starts operating in 2021, EEA citizens wishing to stay in the UK for more than three months (whether to work, study, visit or join family members) will have to apply to be granted this new European Temporary Leave to Remain.

EEA citizens who successfully acquire this new status will be able to stay in the UK for three years from the date of application. The Home Office have stressed that this status will be temporary and cannot be extended. In addition, it will not lead to any entitlement to indefinite leave to remain (or any ability to reside permanently in the UK) nor will it lead to the ability to secure any status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Having secured European Temporary Leave to Remain, any EEA citizen wishing to stay in the UK beyond the three year period will have to apply successfully for a new status under the new skills-based immigration system the government plans to introduce from 1 January 2021.

Gherson is dealing extensively with applications under the EU Settlement Scheme and enquiries on the immigration ramifications of Brexit. If you require any assistance with your current circumstances or plans for residence in the UK whether before or after Brexit, 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.

©Gherson 2019