EU Nationals and Family Members
The Home Office implemented new rules for EU (including EEA and Swiss) citizens and their family members wishing to secure their status in the UK post Brexit.
Those who have lived in the UK for five consecutive years, and have not been absent for more than six months per year in each of those five years will be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (“settled status”).
Those who have lived in the UK for less than five years can apply for Limited Leave to Remain (“pre-settled status”) and apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain once they reach the five years, even if that is after the UK formally leaves the EU.
Under the withdrawal agreement:
- There is a transition period until 31 December 2020 during which EU nationals will retain free movement rights;
- EU nationals will need to apply for an immigration status (pre-settled status) before the end of the transition period;
- To apply for residence documentation:
- You will need to apply before 30 June 2021 (or 31 December 2020 if UK leaves without a deal);
- If you hold Permanent Residence, will need to convert it to settled status before the end of the transition period.
The Home Office has stated that in the event of a no deal Brexit new EU nationals arriving will need to apply for ‘Temporary Leave to Remain’, which will be valid for three years. After three years they will need to apply for an alternative immigration category e.g. to work or study in the UK. They will not be eligible for settlement scheme
Spouses, partners and children under the age of 21, or older dependent children and dependant parents can qualify whether they are EU nationals or non-EU nationals. In some circumstances more distant relatives can also be considered as 'family members'.
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