European Union Citizens in the UK. Are we any closer to certainty?

Recently the government produced its proposals for safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the UK and UK Nationals living in the EU. At last we have some idea about what Brexit will actually mean for EU citizens in the UK, but it's only an idea because the proposal has yet to be negotiated with the EU.

In essence the proposal is:

Nothing will change until the UK actually leaves the European Union.

EU citizens will be able to live and work in the UK in the same way.

After the UK leaves the EU, every EU citizen (and their family) will need to make sure that they have legal immigration status in the UK.

At the moment, EU citizens do not have to apply for confirmation that they are in the UK legally. This will change when we leave the EU. Employers, landlords, public services etc. will need to see evidence that an EU citizen is here legally.

Cut off date

There will be an important date - a cut off date somewhere between 29 March 2017 and the day the UK actually leaves the UK. If you are an EU citizen, your position will be decided by what you were doing at that date. This date has not been decided yet.

If you arrived in the UK before the cut off date and have lived here continuously for 5 years,

You can apply for settled status. This applies whether or not you hold a Permanent Residence Card. If the government sticks to this proposal, those with a card are likely to obtain settled status quickly and easily. (See below for settled status)

If you arrived in the UK before the cut off date and have not lived here continuously for 5 years,

You can also apply for settled status after you have been here for 5 years even if the UK leaves the EU during the 5 years.

If you arrived in the UK after the cut off date,

You can apply for a temporary residence permit but in the long term, you will have to apply to stay under the rules that currently apply to non-EEA residents of the UK.

Settled Status

This is the most secure immigration status you can obtain in the United Kingdom if you are not a British Citizen. If you are settled, you are free to live in the UK without conditions (e.g that you work, study, look for work or be self-sufficient). You can access public funds and services and apply for British Citizenship. You lose settled status if you leave the UK for a continuous period of over two years or if you commit a very serious crime.

Grace Period

There will be a grace period after the UK leaves when EU citizens can still apply for permission to stay. All EU citizens who have not already applied for settlement will be in the UK legally during this period but this will end. If you have not obtained settled status or a temporary residence permit by the end of the grace period, you will be in the UK illegally.

What you can do

If you are an EU citizen and you wish to stay in the UK after it leaves the EU, it is a good idea to make preparations before the UK actually leaves. There will be a grace period, after the UK leaves when EU citizens can apply for permission to stay but this period will end. If you have not obtained settled status or a temporary residence permit by that date, you will be in the UK illegally.

Remember this is just a proposal and may not be the final position. Here is a handy diagram from the government document:

  • We couldn't praise Sallie and her team high enough. Extremely professional and acted very fast to meet our deadline. 100% recommended!
    Mr E
  • Always thorough and highly professional throughout the application process for both my children, and I would definitely recommend! They also had a welcome sense of humour when it came to dealing with the bureaucracy involved in the process.
    Mr B
  • Great experience working with Sallie. Professional and understanding! Will work with her again, with no doubt.
    Ms L
  • We have been very impressed with the service we have received over the years of dealing with Angela. She went above and beyond to solve our specialised problem with very pleasing results. We would strongly recommend her work and knowledge in the field. A true professional.
    Mr Aldalis
  • I highly recommend Sallie for her professionalism and lovable, kind approach. I am very happy to get her as my immigration lawyer for processing my kids Visa.
    Shiva K
  • I highly recommend both Angela and Karen. They both have been amazingly helpful throughout the visa application process of my wife. They do truly care for their clients. They look at the case in reasonable time periods and return with any missing information rapidly. Consulting them during this exciting yet stressful process was the best decision that I made. Today my wife got granted the visa just after 5 weeks of her biometric scans.
    Mr Yazici
  • They are so honest and professional . Clear answers and guidance to all my questions 👍👍. Thanks a lot .
    Mr Khalil
  • Just received a decision from the Home office that I would’ve NEVER thought was possible. So happy and over the moon! I would definitely recommend your services to friends & family if required in the future. Huge thanks to Sallie and the team, best immigration solicitor in the business!!
    Mr Bamba
  • Angela Cole is a wonderful, hardworking, honest, kind and reliable Solicitor. Her work is very high standard, very professional and her team is friendly. Me and my husband have no hesitation in recommending Angela Cole's excellent services.
    Ms Small
  • "Simply a team of experienced people who gave us excellent and honest advice. Having now taken an appeal through to a successful conclusion for the (very reasonable) price promised, I have no hesitation in recommending this firm."
    Jon Chrimes - Google Review
  • "The team went an extra mile and fought my case much more and much better than I would have expected. In the end, my case was successful and I cannot thank them enough for all they have done. If I ever need legal help in the future I will definitely use their services again and recommend them for their reasonable prices, supportive advice and first rate legal services."
    ANONYMOUS - Google Review
  • "Excellent people, excellent service. They made the process of bringing my husband to the UK painless. Couldn’t have done it without them, highly recommend!"
    Lindy Pine - Google Review
  • "I am ecstatic, thanks to you all. My life is complete now and anything else is a bonus. Even if it seemed impossible I knew we were going to win this and that is why I never gave up. Thank you for your work, support and encouragement."
    MRS. Last
  • A BIG THANK YOU , for your help in helping me acquire my British settlement and British citizenship application successfully done. Your professionalism and kind warm attitude and nature made this process very easy and stress free. You took all my concerns away. 

    My Lawyer, Sallie Davies, is very knowledgeable and competent and I have implicit trust in her. The fees are also reasonable compared to other law firms. I highly recommend Sallie and her team.
    MRS. H
  • Thanks to Sallie, my wife is finally in the UK after a horrible year and long delays with Home Office. Highly recommended Immigration Legal Services! 
    MR. B
  • Angela Cole and everyone at Immigration Legal Services will work to produce the best outcome for you and, from our experience, they only concern themselves with your goal and not your wallet. Immigration Legal Services' charge was a very good price for all the help and security they provided
    MR. C
  • Despite the high professionalism practiced within the firm, there is always a strong sense of compassion , and care, from both Angela, and lovely Karen, which has really helped to set our minds at ease. Absolutely recommended & Eternally grateful
    Ms. f
  • I would like to thank both of you, Sallie and Karen for your assistance in the way you handled my wife's Spouse Visa Extension to remain here with me in the United Kingdom. We will recommend The Immigration Legal Services here in Ipswich to anybody who wants to apply for a visa to come or remain here in the United Kingdom because the service they provided proved to be most reliable, simple and quick process. Much appreciated Sallie and Karen. Thanking you once again. We will be back again.
  • Excellent service, Sallie is very professional and lovely. Thanks to you what we thought it will be a long and exhausting experience, was so smooth and fast we couldn't believe it. Thank you very much.
    Mrs T
  • We engaged this firm based on a recommendation made by a friend who had used their services before. We required their assistance for my wife's first renewal of her spousal visa. The process was quite painless, they got in touch to collect documents and go over details but most communication was done by email. We received the renewal without any issues.
  • Sallie was the best solicitor I've met for immigration matters. She was straight to the job, focused on the matter and had an excellent transparent work process, a reasonable fee and no hidden charges. She is very helpful, confident and had the best communication. We got our parents' visa in one go! Thank you very much for the excellent job.
Let us help you
Take a look at our services and get in touch with us today for more information.
Contact us today
© 2020 Immigration Legal Services. All rights reserved.

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram