Since the Brexit referendum vote on the 23rd of June 2016, the UK government has been preparing for the unprecedented changes in the immigration legislation dealing with the future status and destiny of the EEA nationals and their family members residing in the UK. Whilst the final confirmation of the immigration policy post-Brexit is eagerly awaited both by the UK residents and immigration law practitioners, below is the overview of facts the Home Office confirmed so far:
Whilst Brexit Day is scheduled for the 29th of March 2019, the Home Office confirmed that transitional arrangements for EEA nationals in the UK will continue until 31st December 2020. All EU citizens residing in the UK will be able to claim permanent residence status up to 31st December 2020. European citizens who have been residing in the UK for less than 5 years in December 2020 would be able to apply for pre-settled status to continue residing in the UK.
Non-British family members of European citizens residing in the UK by the 31st December 2020 will be eligible to continue residing in the UK and securing permanent residence in the future. Close family members currently living outside the UK will still be able to relocate to join their European partners in the UK by the above date and will receive a pre-settled status.
European citizens will be required to complete an online form and follow 4 easy steps to apply for settled or pre-settled status in the UK:
Applications will continue to cost £65 for adult applicants in the UK, who are applying for their UK residence documents for the first time. Applications from children under the age of 16 will be charged at £32.50. The application will be free for those, who already hold a permanent residence card and will be updating their documents as well as for applicants moving from pre-settled to settled status in the UK.
European citizens and their families living in the UK, who have acquired pre-settled or settled status in the UK will continue to enjoy access to public services, such as healthcare and education, will continue to have access to public and pension funds and will be eligible to naturalise as British citizens upon completing no less than 6 years of residence in the UK.