EU na­tion­als and Brexit – your ques­tions an­swered

Brexit has cre­ated un­cer­tainty for many EU na­tion­als liv­ing in Devon. In late Au­gust this year the Home Of­fice is­sued new guid­ance on what EU na­tion­als liv­ing in the UK need to do. Ex­eter-based im­mi­gra­tion solic­i­tor Lisa Mul­hol­land has helped hun­dreds of

Devon Life - - Promotion -

I AM AN EU NA­TIONAL LIV­ING IN DEVON. DO I NEED TO MAKE AN AP­PLI­CA­TION TO THE HOME OF­FICE TO RE­MAIN LIV­ING HERE? DOES IT MAT­TER THAT I AM MAR­RIED TO A BRI­TISH CIT­I­ZEN? WHEN DO I NEED TO MAKE AN AP­PLI­CA­TION TO THE HOME OF­FICE BY AND HOW DO I GO ABOUT IT?

Al­though there have been no changes to the rights of EU na­tion­als in the UK at present, the Home Of­fice has made it clear that all EU na­tion­als liv­ing in the UK at the end of the Brexit tran­si­tion pe­riod will be re­quired to make ap­pli­ca­tions to the Home Of­fice to con­firm their sta­tus in the UK. EU na­tion­als who have been liv­ing in the UK for at least five years prior to 31 De­cem­ber 2020 will need to make ap­pli­ca­tions to the Home Of­fice for set­tled sta­tus. Those who have spent less time liv­ing here will be re­quired to ap­ply for pre- set­tled sta­tus, with a view to be­com­ing set­tled in due course.

The new on­line ap­pli­ca­tion sys­tem is likely to be fully in force by 30 March 2019, leav­ing a pe­riod of two years for you to sub­mit your ap­pli­ca­tion. You will still need to ap­ply even if you cur­rently have a reg­is­tra­tion cer­tifi­cate or a per­ma­nent res­i­dence doc­u­ment. Un­for­tu­nately you will still need to make an ap­pli­ca­tion ir­re­spec­tive of whether you are mar­ried to a Bri­tish Cit­i­zen or not. This is the case even if you have never pre­vi­ously re­lied on a visa to re­main in the UK on this ba­sis.

MY CHIL­DREN ARE ALSO EU NA­TION­ALS LIV­ING WITH ME IN THE UK. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO FOR THEM?

It is ad­vis­able to in­clude your EU na­tional chil­dren as de­pen­dants in any ap­pli­ca­tions that you make to the Home Of­fice re­gard­ing your sta­tus. You will be re­quired to pro­vide ev­i­dence that they are your chil­dren and liv­ing with you at the time of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

WHAT WILL HAP­PEN IF I DON’T MAKE AN AP­PLI­CA­TION TO THE HOME OF­FICE BE­FORE THE CUT OFF DATE?

You may be­come an over­stayer in the UK and be sub­jected to the Home Of­fice’s ‘hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment pol­icy’. If this is the case you are likely to ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fi­cul­ties re-en­ter­ing the UK after hol­i­days, work­ing, ac­cess­ing health care (or be­ing li­able for hos­pi­tal fees), open­ing up bank ac­counts, rent­ing prop­erty and ob­tain­ing a driv­ing li­cence.

Lisa Mul­hol­land is a solic­i­tor in the im­mi­gra­tion team at Stephens Scown LLP in Ex­eter. The team is unique in the re­gion as it ad­vises both in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses on all as­pects of UK im­mi­gra­tion law.

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