THE RIGHTS OF EU CITIZENS LIVING IN THE UK IN THE EVENT OF “NO DEAL”
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In the case of ‘no deal’ after the withdrawal date of the UK, the rights of EU(1) citizens in the United Kingdom will be governed by UK law, which will need to be interpreted taking into account the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. Most of the information provided in this factsheet is based on announcements made by the United Kingdom.
QUESTION: I am an EU citizen living in the UK. Will I still have the right to live in the UK after the UK’s withdrawal?
ANSWER: The UK Government has stated that it “wants to reassure EU citizens and their family members living in the UK that they are welcome to stay in the UK in the unlikely event of a ‘no deal’ scenario.” See the UK Government’s Policy paper on citizens’ rights in the event of a no deal Brexit(2),
Q: What should I do as an EU citizen if I want to continue living in the UK?
A: If you are an EU citizen who arrived in the UK before the withdrawal date and you intend to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020, you will have to apply for a new UK immigration status, called “Settled Status” or “pre-settled Status”. You will have to apply for this new immigration status even if you had obtained permanent residence status before based on the applicable rules at the time. For more information on the new immigration status please check the UK Government’s website(3).
If you are an EU citizen arriving after the withdrawal date, you will be admitted under UK immigration rules and will have to require permission to enter or remain in the UK. For more information, see the UK Government’s Policy paper on Immigration from 30 March 2019 if there is no deal(4).
Please note that if you are an Irish citizen, you may not need to apply for that new immigration status, if you are covered by the Common Travel Area regime.
Q: As an EU citizen, what will my rights as regards work and social security be?
A: As of the withdrawal date, your right to work will depend on UK law. You are advised to check with the relevant
authorities in the UK what rights you will have, after the withdrawal date, to social security benefits such as
sickness benefits, family benefits, pension, invalidity and unemployment benefits.
The UK government has announced(5) that EU citizens and their family members in the UK will continue to be able
to live, work and access social security benefits in the UK broadly as they do now. The Commission expects the
reassurances given to be formalised soon.
You are advised to:
>Check the conditions to continue working in the UK. You may need a work permit, for instance. If you are
working in the UK and living in the EU, you may also need a specific document in order to enter the territory
of the UK;
>Check the conditions for your family members to continue to live and work in the UK;
>Check the conditions for your children to continue their education in the UK;
>Check with the institution with which you are insured about your social security rights.
If you have worked, lived or been insured in the UK in the past, you are advised to:
>Obtain proof of these periods of work, residence or insurance from social security institutions in the UK,
such as National Insurance;
>Immediately apply for either temporary or permanent immigration status under UK immigration rules.
> For additional information and assistance, please contact Questions and Answers on the consequences of the
UK leaving the EU in the event of no deal(6).
> For additional information and assistance, you should contact your national embassy in the UK(7).
Q: What status will I have if I am both an EU citizen and a UK national?
A: As an EU citizen who also has British citizenship you will be able to live in the UK based on your British nationality.
Q: What status will I have as an EU citizen living in the UK and a close family member (i.e. spouse, children) of a UK national?
A: As an EU citizen who is also a family member of a UK citizen, you will have to apply for a new UK immigration
status called “Settled Status” or “pre-settled Status” if you intend to continue living in the UK.
(1) In the context of this factsheet “EU” means the 27 EU Member States after the UK leaves the EU.
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