EU citizens living in the UK at the moment do are not required to take any action at the moment. However, EU citizens and family members will eventually have to make an application to the Home Office to gain ‘settled status’.
However, those EU citizens and family members who are currently entitled to apply for a permanent residence document can still do so.
In December 2017, a new deal was reached between the EU and the UK. For EU citizens and their families, this will mean:
- People who arrive by 29 March 2019 and have been continuously and lawfully living here for 5 years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting ‘settled status’. That means these citizens will be free to live here, have access to public funds and services and (if they want) go on to apply for British citizenship.
- People who arrive by 29 March 2019, but won’t have been here lawfully for 5 years the UK leaves the EU, will be able to apply to stay until they have reached the 5-year threshold. At that time, they too can apply for settled status.
- Family members who are living with, or join, EU citizens in the UK by 29 March 2019 will also be able to apply for settled status after 5 years in the UK.
- Close family members (spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents) will be able to join EU citizens after exit under these rules, where the relationship existed on 29 March 2019 and continues to exist when they wish to come to the UK.
- Those who already have ‘indefinite leave to remain’ status will not be affected by the UK’s exit from the EU. So, providing EU citizens can show evidence of having been granted this status, they will not need to make any further applications for documentation.
We understand that the process for gaining settled status will be made as simple as possible, with the possibility of completing it online. The Home Office will not check that applicants hold comprehensive sickness insurance and they will not have to account for every trip taken in and out of the UK. It is also expected to cost no more than the cost of a UK passport (approximately £75).
The Home Office have also advised that (where possible) they will draw on information they already hold (e.g. employment records held with HMRC) which should reduce the amount of evidence applicants need to supply. However, we would advise that you keep any relevant documents in a safe and easily accessible place just in case they are needed.
This information applies to citizens of the EU27, minus citizens of Ireland, whose right to live and reside in the UK will be unaffected by EU withdrawal. Discussions regarding the future right of citizens from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein remain ongoing.