A New Status in UK Law to Protect the Rights of EU Citizens in UK

British Govt’s Policy Paper Post-Brexit Rights of EU Citizens

UK Settlement of EU Citizens: A New Status in UK Law

A New Status in UK Law to Protect the Rights of EU Citizens in UK

Safeguarding the Position of EU Citizens Living in the UK and UK Nationals Living in the EU | British Government Policy Paper June 26, 2017, Paragraphs 17-22 of 59

17) All EU citizens (and their families) in the UK, regardless of when they arrived, will, on the UK’s exit, need to obtain an immigration status in UK law. They will need to apply to the Home Office for permission to stay, which will be evidenced through a residence document. This will be a legal requirement but there is also an important practical reason for this. The residence document will enable EU citizens (and their families) living in the UK to demonstrate to third parties (such as employers or providers of public services) that they have permission to continue to live and work legally in the UK. Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the Government may wish to introduce controls which limit the ability of EU citizens (and their families) who arrive in the UK after exit to live and work here. As such, without a residence document, current residents may find it difficult to access the labour market and services.

18) For those EU citizens who became settled in the UK before a specified date, which the Government proposes will be no earlier than 29 March 2017, and no later than the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, we will, subject to their meeting limited criteria on application, give them a new settled status in UK law.

19) Obtaining this settled status will mean that this cohort of EU citizens whose residence started before the specified date will have no immigration conditions placed on their residence in the UK, provided that they remain resident here. They will be able to work or study here freely, live permanently in the UK with a partner who has settled or is a UK national, and have access to benefits and public services in line with UK nationals.

20) Settled status is not the same as citizenship – for example, holders of this status do not have a UK passport – but those with settled status and at least six years’ residence may apply for citizenship. Settled status would generally be lost if a person was absent from the UK for more than two years, unless they have strong ties here.

21) Obtaining settled status will be subject to meeting certain requirements. The eligibility criteria will be set out in UK law, but the essential conditions will be:

  • a requirement for the applicant to have been resident in the UK for a set length of time. We propose to align this with the current EU general standard for permanent residence – which is in most cases five years; and
  • an assessment of conduct and criminality, including not being considered a threat to the UK.

22) The scheme we establish for applications from EU residents (and their families) for permission to stay will not be legally the same as the one which is currently available for those wishing to obtain confirmation of their residence status under the Free Movement Directive. The UK will no longer be bound by this Directive and will tailor the eligibility criteria, subject to any provisions contained in the agreement with the EU, to suit the demands of this unique situation. For example, we will no longer require evidence that economically inactive EU citizens have previously held ‘comprehensive sickness insurance’ in order to be considered continuously resident. This will apply only for the purpose of determining their residence status: we will seek to protect the current healthcare arrangements for EU citizens, for example, to allow a tourist or student who presents a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to be able to get treatment on the NHS (see paragraphs 47 to 49 for more detail).

via safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the UK

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