In a sign that the government is ramping up its preparation for a no deal exit from the European Union, the Home Office has released new policy guidance in the event the UK leaves the EU with no deal in place.
The latest policy guidance sets out the proposed arrangements for EU citizens to enter the UK after the 29 March 2019 and covers entrance for family visits, tourism, study and work.
Published on the 28 January 2019, the Home Office guidance states that the UK will not be bound by the implementation period arrangements agreed with the EU and contained in the draft Withdrawal Agreement. Instead, it is said that the government will end free movement of EU citizens as soon as possible through the passing of the Immigration
and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill by Parliament. top London immigration solicitors
advise that if the Bill is enacted it will repeal the Immigration
(European Economic Area) Regulations 2016. The 2016 regulations are the authority for free movement in UK law.
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At OTS Solicitors, we specialise in Immigration
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Brexit no deal and UK resident EU citizens
The Home Office policy guidance reiterates that, in the event of no deal Brexit
, EU citizens and their family members who are already resident in the UK on the 29 March 2019 will have until 31 December 2020 to apply for settled status under the EU settlement scheme.
The best London immigration solicitors
are recommending that resident EU citizens and their family members take legal advice on their settlement and Immigration
options and not wait until December 2020 to consider their routes to settlement in the UK.
Brexit no deal and EU citizens entering the UK
The government is committed to ending the free movement EU citizens currently enjoy with effect from the 30 March 2019.
The top London immigration solicitors
advise that the new Home Office policy guidance states that EU citizens and their family members who enter the UK with effect from the 30 March 2019 will be admitted under UK Immigration
rules. Accordingly, EU citizens will require permission to enter or remain in the UK.
As EU citizens will lose the EU right to free movement in the UK, if after the 30 March 2019, they do not comply with the new Immigration
rules they will be classed as illegal entrants. That means they could be liable to enforcement action. The best London immigration solicitors
advise that with a no deal Brexit
the difference in treatment of EEA
citizens applying to enter the UK will be largely extinguished following the termination of EU free movement law.
The Home Office provided details of its proposed skills-based Immigration
system for EEA
citizens in its December 2018 white paper. The latest information from the government is that it will take time to commence the new Immigration
policies and, in the meantime, EU citizens who are currently resident in the UK should secure settled status under the EU settlement scheme.
The Home Office has acknowledged the importance of giving enough time for current EU citizens living in the UK to obtain settled status prior to implementing the new skills-based Immigration
system. That is because of concern about the impact of the new Immigration
scheme on UK employers as well as educational establishments and landlords
. It is doubted whether they have the resources to try to distinguish between EU citizens with settled status, EU citizens who could apply for settled status but have not done so and EU citizens who entered the UK after the 29 Mach 2019.
Accordingly, the government has said that transitional arrangements for EU citizens will apply from 30 March 2019 until 31 December 2020.
No deal Brexit and EU citizens visiting the UK for less than three months
The best London immigration solicitors
advise that it should be business as usual for tourists and business visitors. That will be some relief to those in the tourism industry and those travelling for business purposes. EU citizens coming to the UK for short visits of up to three months will be able to enter the UK, as they currently are able to do without the requirement for a visa and using e-gates at airport passport control when using a biometric passport.
No deal Brexit and EU citizens applying for European Temporary leave to remain permission to stay in the UK
As part of the transitional provisions in force until 1 January 2021, if an EU citizen wants to remain in the UK for longer than three-months they will need to make an application to UK Visas and Immigration
for “European temporary leave to remain
”. The application will have to be made within three months of arrival in the UK. A fee will be payable. EU citizens will not be eligible to apply for European temporary leave to remain
if they are a serious or persistent criminal or pose a threat to national security.
Home Office guidance says that if an EU citizen passes all necessary identity, criminality and security checks then they will be granted European temporary leave to remain
for 36 months from the date of their application. During that period, the applicant will be able to work and study.
top London immigration solicitors
emphasise that the European temporary leave to remain
for 36 months is non-extendable. If an EU citizen wants to stay longer than 36 months, then they need specialist Immigration
advice on their visa options to remain legally in the UK. This is because the Home Office has said that European temporary leave to remain
is, as its name suggests, temporary and will not lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain
or eligibility to apply for settled status under any extended settlement scheme.
Until the end of December 2020, UK Visas and Immigration
will not ask employers, educational establishments, private landlords
, or other third parties to try to distinguish between EU citizens who were resident in the UK prior to Brexit
and those who arrived after March 2019. Until 2021, EU citizens will able to prove their right to work and to rent property using their passport or national identity card. Non-EU family members can use a biometric residence document to prove their rights.
However, after the new Immigration
system is brought into force in early 2021, employers and other third parties will be legally obliged to check EU citizens’ Immigration
status. The important point to note is that retrospective checks will not be required. The best London immigration solicitors
are recommending that employers start to put systems in place now so that by early 2021 they are ready to carry out checks on all EEA
No deal Brexit and EU citizens accompanied by non-EU family members
, if an EU citizen travels to the UK and is accompanied by or is joined by close family members who are non-EU citizens, then the non-EU family member will need to apply in advance for a family permit. Close family members are defined as a spouse, partner or dependent child who is aged under 18.
How can OTS Solicitors help?
OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration law matters. The firm is recommended for Immigration law in the Legal 500. OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors’ status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.
As experts in Immigration law, we can answer all your Brexit queries and concerns and help EU citizens apply for settled status under the EU settlement scheme or look at their other settlement options. For advice on any aspect of personal or business immigration law, please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.