“Act now’” is the best advice – a clarion call for action by EU citizens and their employers
Is it time for EU citizens living in the UK to panic? After all, we have 72 days to go until the 31 October. No, definitely not, say top London immigration solicitors. However, even the best London immigration solicitors realise that for EU citizens the announcement by the new home secretary, Priti Patel, is worrying.
Priti Patel has said that freedom of movement for EU nationals will end on 31 October, should the UK leave the EU without a deal. That is just over 10 weeks away.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
If you are an EU citizen who has not applied for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme or for a permanent residence
card or you are a UK employer worried about meeting your recruitment needs after the 31 October then OTS Solicitors can help.
For speedy advice on your Brexit
options from specialist London based Immigration
solicitors call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to speak to an experienced Immigration
Brexit and the end of free movement
The 31 October date has gained increased significance to top London immigration solicitors
after Priti Patel said that if the UK exits the EU without a deal then a “no deal Brexit
” means freedom of movement ends on the 31 October. That outcome seems increasingly likely.
For the one million EU citizens who have already applied for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme the news may seem worrying but not of critical concern. However, spare a thought for the estimated additional two million EU citizens who have not yet applied for Settled Status or a permanent residence
card (and their UK employers). The question being asked by both EU citizens and their employers is “what is the best advice?”.
London immigration solicitors
advise that until the UK leaves the EU all EU nationals continue to enjoy the right of free movement and will currently continue to do so until the 31 October.
EU citizens’ rights to stay in the UK after Brexit
If free movement ends on the 31 October, then where does that leave EU citizens after Brexit
? Most media reports say that EU nationals are confused and increasingly anxious.
The government has said that if an EU citizen was resident in the UK before Brexit
then they will be able to stay in the UK. However, that then raises the question how an EU citizen proves residence. The best and easiest ways are to:
• Apply for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme; or
• Apply for pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme if the residence criteria for Settled Status are not met.
Any of these three routes provide an EU citizen with documentary evidence of their right to live and work in the UK after Brexit
, notwithstanding the end of freedom of movement.
Campaigners fear that if EU citizens do not apply for a permanent residence
card or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme then they may end up unable to easily prove their legal status. In turn those EU citizens, who settled in the UK at a time of freedom of movement, could face many of the same hostile environment Immigration
problems experienced by the Windrush
generation; entitled to stay in the UK or re-enter the UK but unable to prove it.
After all, in the absence of an EU national carrying Settled Status paperwork or a permanent residence
card, how else is an Immigration
official at the airport on the 1 November 2019 going to be able to recognise whether an EU citizen has the right to enter the UK to live and work, free of Immigration
top London immigration solicitors
recognise that many UK business owners are heavily reliant on a migrant workforce. Anything that makes existing EU workers feel less welcome in the UK or anxious about their ability to continue to live and work in the UK is bad news for the UK economy. The best advice that employers can give to their EU migrant workforce is to take legal advice on their best options to give both the EU citizen and employer peace of mind.
Although campaigners have called on the government to give EU citizens’ automatic Settled Status or a permanent residence
card that is unlikely to happen. The reality is that an EU nationals’ best option is to be proactive.
EU nationals automatically acquire a permanent right of residence in the UK after five years continuous residence as a “qualified person”.
rules say that an EU citizen has to be able to prove “continuity of residence” and to be a “qualified person” to be eligible to apply for a permanent residence
card. The rules on residence and absences from the UK are complicated and therefore the best option is to take legal advice on whether an EU citizen meets the continuity of residence criteria for a permanent residence
With the publicity about the need for EU citizens to apply for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme, most EU nationals do not realise that applying for a permanent residence
card is still an option for them.
For some EU citizens, a permanent residence
card is more advantageous than Settled Status, particularly if the EU national wants to apply for British Citizenship
. If an EU citizen has lived in the UK, in accordance with the EEA
regulations for a period of over five years, and wants to apply for British Citizenship
, then the route to naturalisation
as a British citizen is potentially twelve months quicker if they apply for a permanent residence
card, rather than Settled Status. That is because an EU national with Settled Status has to wait twelve months before they can apply to become naturalised as a British citizen.
The Settled Status scheme and applying for Settled Status
Two million EU citizens eligible to apply for Settled Status or pre-Settled Status have not done so. London immigration solicitors
anticipate that with daily headlines about Brexit
and announcement of the end of free movement on the 31 October there will be a rush for Immigration
legal advice and applications for Settled Status.
However, changes in policy may make some EU citizen or employers “freeze” because of the ongoing uncertainty and questions over whether the government will survive until the 31 October or if, for example, there will be a second referendum or change of direction over Brexit
top London immigration solicitors
advise both EU nationals and their UK employers that now is a clarion call to take action and not delay. Whilst employers may think that regularising Immigration
positions after Brexit
is the responsibility of the individual employee, the reality is that a UK business will be hit hard if their employees
are subject to Immigration
controls and lose their automatic entitlement to live and work in the UK because they cannot prove their status.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
When it comes to deciding whether to apply for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme or applying for permanent residence
, or how to get your business and employees
ready” many EU citizens and UK business owners do not know where to start.
OTS Solicitors can help you look at Brexit
options, and if appropriate, help with applications for Settled Status or permanent residence
or get businesses geared up for Brexit
OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration
law matters. The leading law directory, The Legal 500, has recognised their expertise. OTS Solicitors also have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration
For information and advice on applying for Settled Status or Permanent Residence or any other aspect of personal or business immigration law call OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors.