Finally, after the on-going suspense and concern of the unknown, the Home Office have painted an outline of the upcoming process EEA Nationals in the UK will face to remain after Brexit.
Recent announcements have suggested that by the end of 2018 the registration of 3 millions EEA nationals will be processed by the Home Office with greater ease than the current processes. However due to the current backlog, it is highly likely that the process will not be as “easy” as suggested.
It has become apparent the EEA application departments within the Home Office are overwhelmed with the high number of applications being submitted at this time, as those currently in the UK apply to confirm their status. A recent proposal has stated that up to 1,200 additional staff will be recruited to cover the vast number of applications, and an additional 300 UK border staff. The authorities have confirmed that troops may be positioned at borders should a “no-deal Brexit” take place, in the attempt to avoid large disruptions. We would hope that the Brexit agreements implemented would be fair and that there would be no uproar of frustrated EEA Nationals that would result in military involvement.
Earlier this week, Amber Rudd confirmed that the current funds set aside to cover the registration scheme and policing the system is £50 million. However, due the budget appears to be too tight to cover the costs associated with salaried new staff, training of staff, technology, premise space for the staff together with all other aspects of setting up the new systems.
Amber Rudd, has stated that the process will be an “easy” process, without tediously long application forms and that the default position would be to accept EEA nationals’ applications for “settled status” if they qualified. This system will be based on the current Permanent Residence system, however with possible improvements.
Our understanding is that the usual practice of checks with HMRC, together with identity and criminal background inquiries would be carried out when deciding any applications. In cases where individuals have criminal records and have not been exercising “Treaty Rights” it is likely that applications would be refused.
At this time, it is unclear on the position of the rights to family reunion of EEA nationals within UK and that negotiations are continuing to take place.
It has been confirmed that a Home Office document will be released later this year to provide further clarification of the processes that will be implemented. There have been various leaked details, however these sources are not reliable and it is preferable to take any precautionary actions at this stage (where possible) and if this is not an option, to wait for the official statement.
If you have any queries in respect of your current status or potential options, please do 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.