Information for EU nationals following the UK referendum


United Kingdom's Proposals for EU Residents on BREXIT

The United Kingdom has now published its proposal for EU nationals resident here following BREXIT. The proposals relate to the implementation of a new Immigration status .

A new settled status will be offered to those EU nationals who have qualified for permanent residence under EU law by the time of the cut off date of the 29th March 2021. It is currently suggested that applications for this status may commence in September 2018.

 EU nationals will have to have been resident in accordance with the terms of Directive 2004/38.

There remains uncertainty on what is deemed to be resident , or continuous residence. From the 29th March 2019, only close family members will be allowed to join EU nationals in the UK.

At the time of the referendum, it was important that EU nationals understood that their position remained secure until the United Kingdom left. It warranted some delay to see how the dust may settle before considering the necessity of applying or not.

There are some who view that the future requirement to obtain a “ settlement card” as proposed by the negotiating paper renders any application now, pointless. There is some force in this argument, particularly where the applicant may be elderly with little intention of traveling.

Generally there are advantages to applying now: The Home Office Internal Guidelines to Case Workers of April 2017 would imply a simpler consideration process: The Executive’s disarray of the last year does little to instill confidence for the future.

Where a person’s ultimate intention will be to apply for British Citizenship, then delay brings no advantage at all. Those who had applied for a Permanent Residence Card shortly after the Referendum are now traveling on their British Passports.

- Surbiton 20th February 2018

The BREXIT decision - what it means to EU nationals

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born” — Antonio Gramsci

Answers solicited in the maelstrom of uncertainty may obfuscate. Caveat aside: -

Under Directive 2004/38 and the EU Treaty, EU Nationals have the right of free movement and provided that certain conditions are met, acquire permanent residence after five years.

Although these rights derive directly from the EU legislation, this legislation only has effect because of an UK Act of Parliament. If the UK Act of Parliament is repealed these rights will no longer continue to apply to those who enter after repeal.

The question arises about the rights that may have been accrued by EU Citizens before any such repeal. In principle, EU nationals who hitherto have not required leave to enter or remain, because they have enjoyed the right of free movement , may be required to do so. However, Article 70 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties protects the acquired rights of individuals in the event of a withdrawal from a Treaty.

What the position taken by the UK authorities will be, is beyond our remit to speculate. However, where there is no new position taken permitting free movement to EU new arrivals , then even if acquired rights are protected, it will be to the advantage of those already present to obtain a Residence Permit, so that they can distinguish themselves from new arrivals.

Those EU nationals who have been resident and economically active in the United Kingdom for the past six years, may consider the benefit of applying for British Citizenship. Similarly spouses of EU nationals may wish to consider their eligibility.

Surbiton 25th June 2016

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