January 29, 2019

What Happens to EU Citizens in the U.K. if There Is a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit?

The U.K. government announced yesterday, 28 January 2019, in a policy paper titled “Immigration from 30 March 2019 if there is no deal," that in the event the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal, the U.K. will seek to end free movement on 29 March 2019. This policy paper provides the guidelines to U.K. Parliament in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit. 

If there is a “no-deal” Brexit, EU citizens and their family members already resident in the U.K. by 29 March 2019 will be able to remain in the U.K. To protect their status, they will have until 31 December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

EU citizens arriving in the U.K. on or after 30 March 2019 will be admitted under the U.K. immigration rules and will require permission to enter and/or remain in the U.K. However, EU citizens seeking to stay in the U.K. for under three months will not need to apply for an immigration visa or status.

EU citizens will need to apply for a status called the European Temporary Leave to Remain to live, work and study in the U.K. for a period of up to 36 months. This status is temporary and non-extendable.

Following the end of free movement and before the new U.K. system which will come into effect from 1 January 2021, EU citizens who intend to stay in the U.K. for more than 36 months will need to apply for an immigration status under the new immigration system. Those who do not qualify will need to leave the United Kingdom when their European Temporary Leave to Remain expires.

The U.K. government states in this policy paper that, until 31 December 2020, EU citizens will be able to enter the U.K. by showing either a valid national identity card or a passport.

If there is a “no-deal” Brexit Non-EU citizen family members in the U.K. will need to apply for a family permit before accompanying or joining their EU citizen family member.

The U.K. government makes it clear that Irish citizens will not need to apply for the European Temporary Leave to Remain. Irish citizens will continue to have rights to live and work in the U.K.

FaegreBD will continue to monitor updates on Brexit as it happens. If you have any questions, please contact your immigration representative at FaegreBD.

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