Current projected impact of UK Brexit on EEA Nationals in the UK and UK Nationals in the EU

The UK has officially left the EU at 23:00 on Friday 31 January 2020. As such, the provisions for freedom of movement between the UK and EU will technically end, although a Transition Period will keep them effectively active until 31 December 2020.

Who will be affected?

EEA citizens and their family members currently in or planning to come soon to the UK.
UK citizens and their family members currently resident in or planning to move to the EU.

Background

The UK has left the European Union (Brexit date) on 31 January 2020. The UK government has negotiated a deal to pave the way for a managed exit, (the Deal), and this Deal has now received Royal Assent, making it UK law, and is passing through the ratification processes in the EU Parliament.
Some countries have enacted legislation with regards to the status of UK nationals in their territories already and others have drafted theirs.
UK nationals seeking to return to the UK with their non-UK national family members should seek immigration advice from a qualified UK immigration consultant. During the Transition Period, UK and EEA nationals travelling between the two entities will not notice any procedural changes on the frontier.  However, those EEA nationals who have been resident in the UK prior to Brexit Date should take steps to register their status so as to continue enjoying the same rights as before. Similarly, UK citizens with residency history in EU states should do the same. EEA Nationals entering the UK during the Transition Period should keep abreast of developments which may affect their rights.

Impact

The Brexit Deal sets a Transition Period from 31 January 2020 to 31 December 2020 during which time the UK and EU will finalise the details of their future relationship, including the immigration processes for nationals of each into the other.
EEA nationals resident in the UK prior to 31 January 2020 can make an application under the existing EU Settlement Scheme any time from now until 31 June 2021.
There was a scheme proposed in the event of a no-Deal Brexit (Euro TLR), however references to this have been removed now and it is unclear what will replace it for EU nationals moving to the UK during the Transition Period. We are expecting information on this from the UK Government in the coming days.
There is likely to be an incremental process of amending the UK Immigration Rules to phase out rights currently enjoyed by EEA nationals and their family members in and coming to the UK, towards a fully points-based system.
It is currently envisaged that EU citizens coming to the UK for short visits will continue to be able to enter without a visa, for stays of up to 3 months.
UK nationals and their family members in EU countries may find that their rights, protections and freedoms to work and reside there will change on, or shortly after, Brexit date.
Non-UK family members of UK nationals seeking to return to the UK will find that as the Immigration Rules are updated following Brexit date, depending on their country of nationality, the immigration route available to them may change over time.

Implementation

With regards to immigration, EEA citizens and their family members in the UK by 31 January 2020 who wish to stay in the UK will have to apply for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status by 30 June 2021. The EU Settlement Scheme is already open and accepting registrations from EEA citizens and their family members.
Those EEA citizens and their family members who arrive after the Brexit date will need to adhere to the prevailing immigration controls applicable to them (which will evolve and change over time) on the date they enter the UK. There may be a period where the current free movement rules still apply for some time after 31 January 2020, but no details on this are available yet as no legislation to set a schedule to the changes to the Immigration Rules as relating to EEA nationals and their family members has yet been passed.
Measures for UK nationals and their non-UK/non-EU national family members have been implemented already in some EU countries and others have already begun preparing legislation, if you are affected in this way you should consult information from the national government of the member state you are resident in.

Next Steps (or) Actions Required

EEA citizens and their family members currently in the UK are strongly urged to register in the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible as this is the mechanism by which time accrued in the UK will be officially recognised and, therefore, it is the basis on which their legal status in the UK is formalised for future reference.
UK nationals in EU countries should check for up-to-date information from the relevant national government on their status and options for them and their non-EU family members before and after the Brexit date.
UK nationals seeking to return to the UK with their non-UK national family members should seek immigration advice from a qualified UK immigration consultant.

Santa Fe Analysis

Santa Fe UK Immigration can assist EEA individuals and their family members who wish to secure their ongoing residency in the UK via registration on the EU Settlement Scheme, and we have already acted on instructions from several clients to do so.
Santa Fe UK Immigration can also assist non-UK nationals and non-UK family members of UK nationals who wish to return to the UK, by evaluating their current case and updating this assessment as may be necessary in line with prevailing Immigration Rules as applicable to their circumstances down the line at the time of their planned entry to the UK.
Should you have any questions, please contact the following:

Koshi Blavo Barna
UK Head of Immigration
Santa Fe Relocation
Tel.: +44 (0) 203 457 3595
Email: ukimmigration@santaferelo.com

To read more immigration updates, click here

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Santa Fe Relocation is a global mobility company specialising in managing and delivering high-quality relocation services worldwide. Our core competence is providing services that help corporations and their employees relocate and settle in a new country, assisting them with immigration, home and school searches, language and cultural training, property rentals, and domestic and international household goods shipments. We provide these services to a consistently high standard, locally and globally. A key strength is our ability to manage these services through our own operations around the world. Santa Fe Relocation Services is wholly owned by the Santa Fe Group, which is listed on NASDAQ in Copenhagen, Denmark. For more information, visit us at www.santaferelo.com

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