The UK government has confirmed that they have reached an agreement with the EU that safeguards the rights of EU citizens and their families once the UK leaves the EU. A summary of what has been agreed is below, and you can find full information on the EU citizens' rights website.
- EU citizens who arrive by 29 March 2019 and have lived in the UK for 5 years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting ‘settled status’.
- People who won’t have been here for 5 years when we leave, but arrive here by 29 March 2019, will be able to apply for permission to stay on until they reach the 5-year threshold. They can then also apply for settled status.
- All family members who are living with or join EU citizens by 29 March 2019 will also be able to apply for settled status after 5 years in the UK. Children born after exit are protected if their parents are protected. Close family members will be able to join their families in the UK after exit.
- EU citizens looking to remain in the UK will be able to apply for their new status through a new streamlined, user-friendly application scheme, due to launch in late 2018.
- Rights to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK will remain the same.
- The agreement extends the citizens’ rights protections above to include EU citizens and their family members arriving in the UK during the implementation period (from 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020). This ensures that those planning to come to the UK after March next year know what the arrangements will be. During this time, new arrivals will need to register through a new Home Office registration scheme after three months in the UK.
- There is no need for EU citizens living in the UK to do anything at this stage, but you can sign up for email updates to receive an alert when there is further news on the application scheme.
Further details, case studies and resources are available on the EU citizens' rights website.
These FAQs deal with making an application for permanent residence or naturalisation as a British Citizen. The information has been provided by our lawyer based on questions raised by staff in an application workshop.
In light of the new agreement between the UK and the EU regarding EU citizens’ rights (please see above), it is likely that the best option for most people will be to wait until the ‘settled status’ applications open. However, our lawyer believes permanent residency is still worth applying for if:
- the applicant intends to follow this with a British citizenship application before September 2018 (which is when we expect settled status to start) and will need an EEA PR card now;
- there is a genuine concern that part of the relevant five years of residence is recognised for the purpose of EEA PR but might not be when settled status is introduced (being a jobseeker within the last five years may fall into this category); or
- it’s important to show permanent residence in the UK to a third party now (landlords, some employers or those deciding if children are resident in the UK in assessing academic fees may need this).
Please use the links below to navigate to the relevant section.