An agreement has been reached between the UK government and the EU on the status of EU citizens and their families in the UK after Brexit. The most important thing is that EU nationals living in the UK and their UK employers do not have to do anything now.
There are three relevant periods that EU citizens and their families should bear in mind:
EU citizens with temporary or permanent residence permit under the EU law will continue to have the same access as they currently do to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK.
Online application scheme will go live late 2018 and remain open for applications until 30 June 2021, meaning that from 1 July 2021 it will be mandatory to hold settled status or temporary residence permit.
Generally, EU nationals don’t have to apply till after 31 December 2020, unless
The UK government agreed with the EU to keep the same conditions for the EU citizens and their family members that wish to settle in the UK, and even make them more generous than the existing Free Movement Directive, provided they meet certain criteria:
New arrangements will become a part of the UK legislation, and any settlement application submitted in compliance with them cannot be refused by the Home Office.
Settlement application for EU nationals with temporary residence permit will cost the same as a UK passport costs to British citizens, and with permanent permit it will be free. And the old permanent residence permit will be easily exchangeable for a new ILR document without another assessment of residence.
Other good news is that the Home Office is making the application process as streamlined, quick and user-friendly as possible, reducing the amount of evidence to be provided and cancelling fingerprinting. In other words, the UK government will do their best to help EU citizens and their families in the UK to obtain settlement status.
The UK Government is currently working closely with businesses and others to look at how they will be affected by the changes. On 27 March 2018 the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published their interim report with evidence on patterns of EU migration and the role of migration in the wider economy. They will have to report back by September 2018 with full evidence that will help the UK Government to develop the future immigration system.
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