EU Nationals Living in the UK

Further to our eAlert on June 24, 2016, the Home Office has confirmed the following:

  • Since the referendum, there have been no changes to the rights and status of European Union (EU) nationals living in the United Kingdom (UK) and UK nationals living in the EU;
  • When the UK finally does leave the EU, these rights will be properly¬†protected. EU nationals who have lived in the UK continuously and lawfully for at least five (5) years automatically have a permanent right to reside, and those who have been living here for at least six (6) years are eligible to apply for British citizenship;
  • EU nationals living here lawfully for less than five (5) years continue to have a right to reside;
  • Non-EU family members of EU nationals must continue to apply to the Home Office for family permits & residence cards in the normal way; and
  • The Home Office concludes by stating that there has been no change to the rights of EU nationals living in the UK.

However, despite these confirmations, it is widely understood that when negotiations are concluded and the UK has finally exited, EU nationals living in the UK will need documentary evidence of their right to remain. It would therefore be advisable for those who have been living here lawfully for five (5) years or more to apply for permanent residence and for those living here lawfully for less than five (5) years to apply for a registration certificate. Following the exit, those with permanent residence would have to do nothing further to prove their right to remain and those with a registration certificate would be able to evidence their right to work. Negotiations during the exit period would then determine the ongoing rights of those with a registration certificate and whether they would have to complete any additional applications with the Home Office.

When the Home Office states, “When we do leave the EU we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK and UK nationals in EU member states will be properly protected,” this does not seem to guarantee rights, and as such, documentation to prove rights following the exit would almost certainly be necessary.

What you need to do
Planning ahead

  • Contact your Emigra Worldwide attorney or representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client

The information above was provided by Emigra Worldwide, our global network partners, and relevant government authorities. The information herein is for general purposes only and not intended as advice for a particular matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work.