The British government has published a technical note setting out its proposed immigration procedures for EU citizens living in the UK following Brexit. This comes following the June 2017 policy paper and Theresa Mays Florence speech in September.

The key points of the proposal are as follows:

  • The Brexit withdrawal agreement will outline the rights of EU citizens living in the U.K and will incorporate these rights into U.K law.
  • EU citizens will be required to make a new application to obtain a new status if they wish to continue working in the U.K.
  • There will be a new application process, which will be shorter and more efficient than Permanent Residency and will include a right to appeal.
  • EU citizens and their family members will have to apply “within a period of time after exit as specified by the UK authorities”, which will last “around two years” after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. The new process will be launched before the UK leaves the EU.
  • Discretionary leave for late applications will be introduced.
  • For EU citizens who already have a permanent residence document there will be a reduced fee.

Unsuccessful applicants

  • Following current legislation, E.U citizens who apply for new status and are refused, will be unlawfully residing in the U.K. They will not be allowed to work and may be asked to leave the U.K unless they secure a different type of immigration status.
  • Transition Period

During the “implementation period” after the UK leaves the EU (which is presumably the same as the “specified period”) EU citizens will continue to be able to come and live and work in the UK. There will be a registration system for them.

Further Confusion?

New announced changes may still leave many unanswered questions regarding the rights of EU citizens. For example, what about EU citizens arriving during the two-year implementation period – what will their status be after the end of the implementation period? What will happen to other EEA nationals, citizens of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein and Swiss nationals? What rules apply to non-EU family members joining EU citizens in the UK after the withdrawal date?

For quality and professional legal advice, contact Salam and Co Solicitors. We are experts in immigration and human rights, contact us today for your free initial case assessment.

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