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What is Going to Happen to EU Citizens Arriving After the No-Deal Brexit?

  • By Expat
  • February 7, 2019

The necessary legislation regarding immigration and social security for EU withdrawal is subject to parliamentary approval. The proposed Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination Bill would revoke the currently implemented Immigration Regulations of 2016 in the UK.

The UK Home Office published a policy on January 28, 2019 regarding the proposals for how it will treat the arriving EU citizens after Brexit. These proposals are subject to approval by the UK Parliament in how to proceed regarding the Immigration and Social Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill.

Transitional Arrangements of a No-Deal Brexit

If the UK were to leave the EU without agreeing on the withdrawal terms by March 29, 2019, transitional arrangements will be implemented from March 30, 2019 until December 31, 2020. After December 2020, a new immigration regime will be in place. This new immigration regime will replace the transitional arrangements in the withdrawal agreement, allowing EU citizens who arrive in the UK prior to December 2020 to apply for residency under the EU Settlement Scheme up until the end of June 2021.

Visitors and Residents

Those of EU citizenship who wish to stay longer than 3 months within the UK will need to apply for leave to remain within three months of arrival. Those applying for leave to remain will be subject to criminal, identity, and security checks, and if approved, will be granted a stay of 36 months, with permission to work and study. Those who would like to stay longer than 36 months will need to apply under the future immigration system once it is implemented in December 2020. Those applying for leave to remain after the initial three month period is over will be required to pay the suitable application fee (currently undisclosed).

EU citizens who arrive in the UK on or after March 30, 2019 are allowed to arrive accompanied by their EU citizen family members with the arrangement described previously. If an immediate family member (spouse, partner, child under 18) is a third country national, they are also allowed to accompany the EU citizen.

EU citizens who choose to visit the UK for short visits can do so by providing a valid passport or national identity card. A short visit allows a three month stay in the UK without the need of a visa, and will allow for  study and work upon arrival. There is no payable fee needed to enter the UK on a short visit of three months.

EU/EFTA citizens who are residents of the UK before March 29, 2019

EU citizens who are already in the UK by March 29, 2019 will qualify for residency. They will need to apply by December 31 2020.

Family members that are in a relationship with the EU citizen prior to March 29, 2019 will be able to join those with a resident status until March 29, 2022.

UK Citizens in the EU

If the UK is to leave the EU, UK citizens will immediately become third country nationals within the EU. UK nationals intending to visit the EU for up to 3 months will not need a visa for entry (only if these provisions are reciprocated for the EU entering the UK on March 29, 2019). UK citizens will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation prior to a trip to the EU after January 1, 2021. For UK citizens intending to enter the EU for a stay of more than 3 months will require a visa. UK citizens wishing to enter the EU with the intention to work will need to apply for a work authorisation. They may be able to qualify for a short-term work permit exemption, if available. UK nationals who are already resident in the EU by March 29, 2019 will most likely be able to remain and continue to work if they register in enough time (this will depend on if the same arrangements are made by the UK for EU citizens).

If you believe that you may be affected by Brexit, please contact your immigration specialist for further support and aid in this matter, as well as case-specific advice.