Brexit/EU Nationals

Brexit and EU Nationals - an update


The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. A transition period is now in place, ending on 31 December 2020. EU nationals residing in the UK before 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply for settled or pre-settled status, which will give them the right to live and work in the UK indefinitely. EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for 5 years can apply for settled status and those who do not have five years' continuous residence can apply for pre-settled status. Pre-settled status gives individuals the right to remain in the UK until they reach the five-year mark, at which point they can apply for settled status.

Details of the settlement scheme can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

EU nationals who are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 have until 30 June 2021 to make an application. The rights and status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021. EU nationals and employers should be aware, however, that the deadline for applications is likely to move to 31 December 2020 in the event of a no-deal Brexit and so it is advisable to apply sooner rather than later.

Citizens of the other EEA countries (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and Swiss nationals can also apply under the settlement scheme.

Individuals do not have to apply for settled status if they have:

· Indefinite leave to enter the UK

· Indefinite leave to remain in the UK

· British or Irish citizenship

At this stage, employers do not need to ask for evidence of EU nationals’ status other than their EU passport or national ID card. The Government has said that extra evidence will not be necessary until June 2021, although this may change in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

A points-based immigration system is due to be introduced from January 2021 and this will apply to any EU citizens moving to the UK after the end of the transition period.

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