Rights of EU Citizens Resident in Britain after Brexit
EU Nationals to Reapply for Permanent Status, Application Process
Cutoff Date, Right to Bring Spouse, Min Income Threshold
In the light of PM Theresa May’s Speech to the British House of Commons on June 26, 2017, this post relates to Rights of EU Citizens after Brexit and provides details of the following topics:
PM Speech | EU Citizens to Reapply for a Settled Status
- Light Touch Online System | Brexit;
- Identity Card | Entry on Home Office Central Database/Register;
- The response of EU’s Negotiator | Brexit;
- 150,000 EU Citizens to Apply Again for Permanent Residency Status;
- Voting, Pension and Other Rights of EU Citizens after Brexit;
- BREXIT | Issues Put in the Negotiating Category;
- Two (2) Years’ Grace Period;
- Implications of Cutoff Date;
- Application Process | Department for Work and Pensions;
EU Citizens in the UK | Right to Bring in Spouse and Min Income Requirement after Brexit | £18,600 | BREXIT
- EU Citizens are Presently Exempt;
- Families would be Separated;
- PM’s Statement;
- Legal Experts’ Opinion;
PM Speech | EU Citizens to Reapply for a Settled Status
In her speech to the House of Commons on June 26, 2017, the British PM Theresa May sets out policy paper that states three (3) million EU citizens resident in Britain will be required to reapply for a settled status under the new regime.
All three (3) million EU citizens residing in the Great Britain would be required to apply for inclusion on the settled status register if the EU nationals in the UK wish to stay in the UK after the Brexit under the proposed measures of the Home Office.
The policy paper was published as the PM Theresa May issued a statement detailing the British government’s proposals on Rights of EU citizens after the United Kindom leaves the bloc.
1) Light Touch Online System | EU Citizens in the UK | Brexit
The fifteen (15) page policy paper suggests a light touch online system to process applications that will accord applicants the same indefinite leave to remain (ILR) status as granted to many other non-European nationals who have also reside in the UK for five (5) years.
2) Identity Card | Entry on Home Office Central Database/Register | EU Citizens in the UK | Brexit
The European Union (EU) settled status residence proposals could also entail an identity card backed up by entry on a Home Office’s Central Database/Register. However, it is yet to be decided whether or not the residence document for settled status EU citizens would be issued as an identity card or it will only exist as an entry in a Home Office database.
3) Response of EU’s Negotiator | Brexit
In response to PM May’s policy statement, Michel Barnier, the EU’s Brexit Negotiator, tweeted a sceptical response, stating that more ambition, clarity and guarantees are needed than in today’s UK position.
4) 150,000 EU Citizens to Apply Again for Permanent Residency Status
The policy paper reveals that those EU nationals who have already applied for permanent residency status documents since the BREXIT Referendum – estimated to be more than hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) – will be asked to Reapply, albeit in a smooth manner. Those who have been urged previously to show evidence of comprehensive sickness insurance will no longer be required to do so.
5) Voting, Pension and Other Rights of EU Citizens after Brexit
The plan entails that EU nationals in the UK may lose right to vote in British local elections. The EU residents in the UK will also lose the protection of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which will no longer have jurisdiction over citizens’ rights in the United Kingdom. But apart from these exceptions, the settled status of EU nationals in the UK will give them the right to reside/live in the UK, to undertake any legal and lawful activity, to have access and recourse to public funds and to apply for GB’s citizenship.
The UK offer includes guarantees on UK pensions including on up-rating and aggregated rights paid out abroad, and the ability of settled EU citizens to continue to have social security benefits, such as childcare benefit, paid in other EU countries.
6) BREXIT | Issues Put in the Negotiating Category | EU Citizens Resident in the UK
Several key areas – including professional qualifications, health care and the rights of the self-employed – have been put in the negotiating category of seeking to ensure continuity rather than a unilateral guarantee from the United Kingdom.
7) Two (2) Years’ Grace Period
The Home Office has stated that it wants to avoid a cliff-edge in applications the day after Brexit, and so has granted a period of two (2) years’ grace for EU nationals who could demonstrate five (5) continuous years of residence in Great Britain.
8) Implications of Cutoff Date
The Home Office has opined that it would make a blanket assumption that all EU citizens resident in Britain on the yet to be agreed cutoff date would be granted temporary leave under the British Immigration Law. There will be a provision for EU nationals to apply voluntarily before Brexit, but it will become a mandatory requirement after the cutoff date. EU citizens failing to apply within the two (2) year grace period will no longer have the permission to remain in the United Kingdom.
9) Application Process | Department for Work and Pensions
The application process is to use the existing Department for Work and Pensions-HMRC income and wage records so as to minimise the need for the applicants to provide documents such as wage slips going back several years. It is expected that by and large application processing would be straightforward, but the Home Office, which has the ability to process millions of visa and immigration applications each year, acknowledges that the task would be quite challenging. Contact Best Immigration Solicitors NOW!
Additionally, the application process system will also permit those who arrive before the cutoff date to build up five (5) years’ continuous residence after Britain leaves the EU, but EU nationals arriving after the cutoff point would be subject to the new immigration rules/regime. The Home Office indicates that it has a broad range of options under consideration and accordingly it would be publishing proposals shortly.
B) EU Citizens in the UK | Right to Bring in Spouse and Min Income Requirement after Brexit | £18,600
The UK’s proposals on EU Nationals’ Rights makes clear that after Brexit EU Citizens living in the UK would be losing their right to bring in a spouse to live with them in Britain. However, if they are able to meet the requirement of an eighteen thousand six hundred British Sterling Pound (£18,600) minimum income per annum, they will be able to bring in their spouse to live in the UK with them.
1) EU Citizens are Presently Exempt
Announcing the Britain’s offer in the House of Commons, PM Theresa May stated that those EU nationals who had a settled status would have the same rights as British Citizens to bring family members into the United Kingdom; however, the PM did not mention the condition of £18,600 threshold in her speech to the Parliament. Here it is important to note that at present EU nationals are exempt from the requirement of minimum income threshold. Moreover, supreme court judges have already described this immigration rule as particularly harsh.
2) Families would be Separated
In the House of Commons, the PM Theresa May was pressed to deny that families would be broken up as a consequence of Brexit. The PM’s denial came due to sustained questioning by the Opposition Labour Party over the implications of applying the minimum income threshold to the EU nationals.
3) PM’s Statement
PM said that no families will be split up. Family dependents who will join a qualifying EU citizen in the UK before the BREXIT would be able to apply for a settled status after five (5) years. Once the UK leaves the European Union, the EU citizens resident in the UK with a settled status will be able to bring their family members from overseas on the same terms as British nationals.
4) Legal Experts’ Opinion
Some of the legal experts are of the view that applicants without adequate financial means and inability to pay minimal fees would be losing their entitlement to be joined by their family members, including their parents.
In comparison, the non-EU family members of British citizens have to:
- pay higher visa application fees;
- pay insurance of the NHS; and
- meet a strict income test;
Moreover, it is almost impossible to arrange visas for parents or other extended family members, which in the case of non-EU family members, in the past, had led to the separation of many families.
The Prime Minister Theresa May, however, has stated that the package on EU citizens’ rights would offer certainty for the three (3) million EU nationals residing in the United Kingdom. And those EU Citizens who qualify for a settled status would be treated the same as if they were UK citizens for benefits, healthcare, and pensions.