What does the Brexit deal mean for UK Immigration and EU nationals?

As we get closer to March 2019, the government faces further pressure to secure a Brexit deal which has the UK’s best interest at heart. In the last week, Prime Minister Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal has been approved by EU leaders but the deal has been criticised by a number of prominent Members of Parliament. It is yet to be seen if the draft Brexit agreement will receive consent from parliament. However, it is clear that there will be no alternative as Theresa May has rejected talks of an alternative to her Brexit deal. The government has made it clear that there will be no preferential treatment for EU citizens post Brexit. EU citizens in the UK are advised to submit an EU application to secure their status post Brexit. EU Citizens can apply for an EEA Residence Card or EEA Permanent Residence Card which will protect their status in the UK. Family members of EU citizens are also urged to make an application before March 2019.  

Applying for an EEA Residence Card or EEA permanent Residence Card pre-Brexit

An EEA Residence Card is a formal document, which confirms your right to live and work in the UK under European Law. You can apply for an EEA Residence Card if you are an EEA national or a non-EEA family member and your EEA family member is exercising their treaty rights as a qualified person or who has permanent residence in the UK. Under the EEA regulations, a qualified person is someone who is in the UK working, self-sufficient, studying or currently searching for work. There are additional conditions, which need to be satisfied with the latter. We often receive a large number of inquiries in regards to who qualifies as a family member.

EEA nationals and their family members who can show continuous residence in the UK for a period of 5 years can apply for an EEA Permanent Residence document. This document is equivalent to an indefinite leave to remain visa and allows EU nationals to freely reside in the UK without having to adhere to a strict set of immigration rules. This document gives unlimited permission to reside in the UK and does not have to be renewed. However, the document can be revoked by the Home Office if there are issues of suitability concerned such as criminal convictions or bad character.

Will there be a transition period post Brexit?

Once the UK officially leaves the EU in March 2019, there will be a transitional period during which the UK will continue to shares the same rights as other EU member states. During this transitional period, the government will introduce a settled status scheme will allow EU citizens living in the UK before the end of 2020 to apply to remain in the UK. After 2020 free movement of persons and goods will come to an end. It should be noted that this will depend on the draft Brexit agreement being approved by the UK parliament.

What is the Settled Status Scheme post Brexit?

The settled status scheme will be fully operating by 30 March 2019. In order to apply for under this scheme, EU nationals will have to prove to the Home Office that they have lived in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month period over a total of 5 years to be eligible for settled status. You can give your National Insurance number when you apply to allow an automated check of your residence based on tax and certain benefit records. Those you cannot show a total of 5 years continuous residence in the UK can apply for a pre-settled status document and you will then be able to apply for a settled status document once you qualify for it.

EU nationals who have successfully acquired Permanent Residence and hold a valid document certifying Permanent Residence will have an automatic entitlement to apply to switch into the settled status scheme without having to meet any additional requirements. The settled status document will be governed by the Immigration Rules. Further, the Home Office has indicated that there will be a streamlined and cost-effective method in applying under the settled status scheme.

Using Legal Representation to submit an EU application post Brexit

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an EU application post Brexit. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject EU applications post Brexit which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your EU application post Brexit succeeds, our solicitors and barristers will ensure all specified documents must be provided.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.

Successfully submit an EU application post Brexit

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your prospects of an EU application post Brexit before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of an application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to a successful EU application post Brexit. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation to discuss your immigration matter or application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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