Current projected impact of UK Brexit (No Deal Scenario) on EEA Nationals in the UK and UK Nationals in the EU
The UK Parliament has not yet approved a Brexit deal with the EU and is currently scheduled to shut down from next week until 14 October (prorogation), which makes the prospects of securing a new deal or approving the current one less likely. As a result the government is encouraging businesses and individuals to focus on preparations for a No Deal scenario.
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.
The current deadline for the UK to leave the European Union (Brexit date) is 31 October 2019. The UK government has negotiated a deal to pave the way for a managed exit, (the Deal), but this Deal has not been approved by the UK Parliament due to disagreements over the Ireland-UK border.
As a result, the UK is currently on track to Brexit without a Deal in place, which means the UK will not be bound by the timetable for transitional arrangements on trade, immigration and other areas of relations with the EU and its member states.
The European Commission has published a No Deal Contingency Action Plan which calls on member states to provide ways for UK nationals resident in EU countries to protect their status following Brexit date. Some countries have enacted legislation with regards to this 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.
- Under a No Deal Brexit there is no prescribed timetable for the ending of Free Movement of EU nationals to the UK. However, the government has announced it will not seek to end Freedom of Movement overnight on the 31 October as had previously been suggested by the Home Secretary.
- 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.
- Under a No Deal Brexit, the UK’s status as an EU member state, and therefore its legal duties under Community rules, will effectively end on the Brexit date (currently 31 October 2019).
- With regards to immigration, EEA citizens and their family members in the UK by 31 October who wish to stay in the UK will have to apply for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status by 31 December 2020. 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 October, 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
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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