Highlights: rights of EU citizens and their families in the UK after Brexit

Every EU citizens and their families will still benefit from the right to free movement up to the moment of UK’s exit from the EU. Besides, they will be able to ask for the permission to reside within the country even after UK’s withdrawal. Each of the existing lawful residents and their families will be given a grace period by the Home Office to make all the necessary arrangements for their residence permit as well as to carry out their work or business as usual. They will have up to two years from the exit day to do so. As a matter of fact, residence permits that have been delivered in the past will not be valid any more and will, therefore, be replaced accordingly. If these procedures are not followed, the persons in question will not be eligible to any exemptions usually granted by the Government. As a further matter, they will not be allowed to stay in the country.

EU citizens and their families who have been living on the English territory prior to the specified date, and that had five years’ continuous residence in the UK either at the time of the UK’s exit from the EU or when their grace period is over, can receive the settled status. For that, however, they must be able to prove their five years’ residence when completing their application. As for the EU citizens that have been living in the UK prior to the indicated date but who do not benefit from the settled status, or have not enjoyed five years’ residence when their grace period has expired, they will be able to remain in the UK to meet the five year condition. However, they will have to seek a leave to remain from the Home Office. After the five years period, they can submit an application to receive the settled status.

Family members of EU citizens – they can either be EU citizens or non-EU nationals – who have been living in the UK before the UK leaves the EU will also be able to receive the settled status. They must nonetheless fulfill the aforementioned conditions and should have been in a genuine relationship with an EU citizen for the time they have been resident in the UK. Family members who have not met the five years’ residence criteria yet will also be able to apply for a leave to remain to do so. Moreover, almost every EU citizens will be able to receive the settlement status in their own right. This means that they do not have to apply as a family member of a resident EU citizen. The previously mentioned point, therefore, concerns mainly non-EU national family members. EU citizens, however, can be granted settlement as a family member. All they have to do is prove their relationship.

Future family members of EU citizens – that have been in the country before the UK leaves the EU – who arrive at the UK after UK leaves the EU will have to follow the same procedures as non-EU nationals joining British citizens. The protocol will be the same as for EU citizens who come to the country after Brexit is completed.

Children of EU citizens that can apply for the settled status will also be able to submit an application to obtain the settled status. This is the case regardless of whether the children were born in the UK or overseas, or if they landed in the UK after Brexit is official. Children of EU citizens who have received the settled status and are born in the UK will enjoy British citizenship and will, therefore, be able to reside in the UK. EU resident parents who have been in the UK prior to the date the UK leaves the EU, but who still need to make the necessary arrangements for a leave to remain after that date to fulfill the five year condition, will also have to do the same for their child when the latter is born.

The Government will take all the necessary measures so that the students who engage in a higher or further education course during or before the 2018/19 academic year will be apt to seek a permission to reside in the country to carry on with their course.

The Home Office has set the objective of making the new application procedures as seamless as they can get for EU citizens and their families that live in the UK lawfully.