Recently the UK Government has published a statement in order to reassure the EU nationals currently residing in the UK, following the UK’s vote to Leave the EU on 24 June 2016. The Government has said that there has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, as a result of the referendum. The Statement goes on to advise EU nationals on whether they may need to apply for a documentation confirming their right to reside in the UK. We outline the key points made below.
EU nationals in the UK For Over 5 Years
The statement states that the UK recognises and values the important contribution made by EU and other non-UK citizens who work, study and live in the UK and that there have been no changes to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK until the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU.
The statement states that EU nationals who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK for at least 5 years have a permanent right to reside in accordance with EU law and that EU nationals who have lived in the UK for at least 6 years are eligible to apply for British citizenship. However, they have to firstly meet the eligibility requirements as set out in the UK Immigration Rules.
Critics have questioned why the Government has not advised EU nationals that they should apply for a document which confirms their right to reside in the UK, as although this is not required under EU law, it will surely be a relevant consideration after the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU.
EU nationals who have lived in the UK for less than 5 years
For EU nationals who have lived in the UK for less than 5 years, the statement reassures that they continue to have a right to reside in the UK in accordance with EU law. Their non-EU family members of EU nationals must continue to apply for a family permit and extended family members of EU nationals must continue to apply for a registration certificate or residence card.
The only reasons for the removal of EU citizen are if they are considered to pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the public, if they are not lawfully resident or are abusing their free movement rights.
Legal Advice from UK Immigration Solicitors on EU nationals rights
If you wish to consider your options following BREXIT or are concerned about your current position in the UK, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your matter and if necessary advise you of the next steps you should take in a consultation.
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.
If you need professional legal advice please contact us for a case assessment on 02071830570. You can also reach us via our WebChat facility or via our contact form. Please note that we are not able to provide any free legal advice.