Category Archives: Brexit

Advice for EU national living in the UK

With the process around Brexit moving forward, a greater sense of urgency exists for European Union nationals who live in the United Kingdom to apply for citizenship. Compounding the urgency are the ambiguous implications the British pullout from the EU has for immigrants living and working in the country. British officials don’t yet offer guidance to EU nationals in terms of requirements for staying in the UK after the completion of Brexit. However, reported comments from Home Secretary Amber Rudd say “some sort of documentation” will be necessary for those living in the country through the exercise of their EU treaty rights.

Up until November of 2015, EU citizens living in the UK for six years or longer could directly apply for British citizenship. Since then, however, EU nationals categorized as having Indefinite Leave to Remain under British immigration rules have been required to apply for a Permanent Residence Card prior to filing a citizenship application with immigration authorities.

Applying for Permanent Residence in the UK is similar to applying for the Indefinite Leave to Remain status. Applicants who are granted Permanent Residency have no restrictions attached to leave in the UK.
Permanent Residency for EU nationals requires five years of continuous residence in the UK as a European Economic Area (EEA) national who is one of these:

  • A qualified person– worker, self-employed individual, self-sufficient, student or jobseeker
  • A former worker or self-employed individual in the UK who has retired or who is permanently incapacitated, or who works in another EEA state but still retains a UK residence.

EU nationals who qualify for Permanent Residency are advised to apply for the status as soon as possible to avoid any unforeseen hiccups due to Brexit.
The Life in the UK test and English language test aren’t part of the Permanent Resident requirements for EU citizens seeking Permanent Residency in the UK. Both are required with British citizenship applications, however.

EU nationals living in the UK and who don’t currently hold EEA Registration Certificates can most likely avoid issues due to Brexit by applying for those documents sooner rather than later. The idea here is to establish the Registration Certificate prior to the UK’s departure from the EU.
The UK’s membership in the EU is effective until all exit negotiations are concluded. The membership means all rights and obligations extended to EU citizens remain in effect for the time being.

One Year Later: Brexit Made Official

One Year Later: Brexit Made OfficialOn March 29, 2017, Brexit implementation began its journey as Theresa May signed the official letter to EU. The letter was handed over by Sir Tim Barrow, in Brussels, at 12:20 BST. The letter states “We should work together to minimise disruption and give as much certainty as possible.” There are two years of negotiation to follow. 

The current Brexit timeline is:

    • March 29: Article 50 triggered
    • March 30: Great repeal bill published
    • March 31: President of European Donald Tusk publishes negotiation guidelines
    • April 29: EU Summit, remaining EU members will adopt negotiation guidelines
    • Spring: Great Repeal Bill announced at the opening of Parliament
    • Late May/ early June: Start of formal face-to-face talks
    • Late 2017: Great Repeal Bill goes through stages of Parliamentary scrutiny
    • Late December 2017: EU chief negotiator Michael Barnier expects initial discussions to conclude
    • Early 2018: Great Repeal Bill likely to receive royal assent
    • Mid 2018: Parliament may need to pass further laws to cover any gaps in legislation
    • September 30, 2018: Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier wants to wrap up Brexit terms
    • Late 2018/ early 2019: Both houses of Parliament and European Council and Parliament will have a vote on any deal
    • March 2019: Two-year negotiation window closes

Mrs. May stated, “The Article 50 process is now under way and in accordance with the wishes of the British people the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. This is a historic moment from which there can be no turning back.”