Immigration Specialists London

EU Citizens Rights in the UK after Brexit – Update 2024: This guide outlines recent changes affecting EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit, essential for both EU nationals and UK employers who rely on EU staff. We cover the latest updates to the EU Settlement Scheme, changes in citizenship rights, including voting and residency, and the implications for UK citizens living in the EU. The guide also highlights support services available to help navigate these transitions, ensuring EU citizens and UK employers can adapt to the new regulatory landscape.

EU Citizens Rights Post-Brexit

1. Understanding EU Citizens Rights in the UK after Brexit

Brexit has had a profound impact on EU citizens residing in the UK, as well as UK employers who rely on EU workers. This comprehensive guide is designed to clarify the rights of EU citizens post-Brexit and outline the necessary steps to secure their status. Both EU citizens, who wish to continue their lives and work in the UK, and UK employers will find understanding these changes crucial for compliance and maintaining valuable EU workforce contributions.

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme, individuals must satisfy the following criteria:

Types of Status

  • Pre-settled Status:
    • Granted to those who have lived in the UK for less than five years. From September 2023, pre-settled status will automatically be extended by two years before it expires if settled status has not been obtained.
  • Settled Status:
    • Applicable to those who have resided in the UK for five years or more. The Home Office will start automated checks in 2024 to convert eligible pre-settled status holders to settled status without requiring an application.

Late Applications

Late applications to the EUSS are considered under certain conditions even after the June 30, 2021 deadline.

Rights of EU Citizens with Settled or Pre-Settled Status

EU citizens holding either settled or pre-settled status enjoy several essential rights and benefits, which include:

In the post-Brexit landscape, EU citizens in the UK face significant changes. By engaging with the EU Settlement Scheme and understanding their rights under settled or pre-settled status, EU citizens can effectively navigate these changes. For employers, staying informed is essential to ensure compliance and retain EU talent. This guide serves as a valuable resource for both EU citizens and UK employers to adapt to new regulations and sustain their livelihoods and workforce in the UK.

These updates reflect the latest changes from the Home Office intended to simplify the process and ensure continuity of status for EU citizens in the UK​​​.

Automatic extension of pre-settled status ensures that many EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members in the UK can continue to make a hugely valued contribution to British society without fear of losing their immigration status by simply failing to apply for settled status.

EU Settlement Scheme enhancements confirmed

2. The Impact of Brexit on EU Citizens’ Voting Rights in the UK

Brexit has led to significant changes in the voting rights of EU citizens residing in the UK, particularly affecting their participation in various elections across the United Kingdom.

Changes in Voting Rights Post-Brexit

The post-Brexit landscape for EU citizens’ voting rights in the UK is complex and varies depending on where they live in the UK and their date of arrival:

Role of Bilateral Agreements

The UK has negotiated reciprocal voting agreements with several EU countries. So far, agreements have been established with Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, Poland, and Denmark. These agreements allow citizens of these countries who arrived in the UK post-Brexit to vote in local elections, mirroring the rights granted to UK citizens residing in those countries​

From 7 May 2024, some EU citizens will not be able to vote and stand as a candidate in certain elections in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

EU citizens will continue to be able to vote while they remain on the register, but will not be able to re-register once they are taken off after May 2024.

Electoral Commission

Importance for EU Citizens

Understanding these changes is crucial for EU citizens:

  • Staying Informed:
    • EU citizens should stay updated on their voting rights which might evolve depending on new bilateral agreements or changes in local laws.
  • Active Participation:
    • Where eligible, EU citizens are encouraged to participate in local and regional elections, which is an important aspect of civic engagement and integration into the community.

Post-Brexit, the landscape of voting rights for EU citizens in the UK has indeed changed significantly. Active participation in permitted elections is essential for EU citizens to integrate and contribute meaningfully to their local communities, while staying informed ensures they are aware of their rights and any changes that might affect them.

3. Traveling and Living in the EU as a UK Citizen Post-Brexit

Overview of New Rules

Since Brexit, UK citizens face a new set of rules when visiting or residing in EU countries. These changes affect visa requirements, travel limitations, and property ownership, reflecting the UK’s departure from the EU’s freedom of movement policy.

Visa Requirements and Travel Limitations

Impact on Property Ownership in the EU

UK citizens owning property in the EU must navigate various local regulations. This includes complying with visa requirements for longer stays, as well as understanding local registration and tax obligations. Given the variation in regulations across EU member states, it’s essential for property owners to stay informed about the specific laws of the country where their property is located​​.

Key Points to Remember:

Given these changes, UK citizens planning to travel or live in the EU should frequently check the latest travel advice and regulations to ensure compliance and smooth travel experiences.

4. Impact on EU Citizens Coming to the UK after Brexit

Following Brexit, the landscape of immigration to the United Kingdom has transformed significantly for EU citizens. Previously enjoying freedom of movement across the UK, EU nationals must now navigate a new immigration framework, aligning them with non-EU citizens under a stringent points-based system. This system evaluates potential entrants on various criteria such as skills, qualifications, and the ability to contribute to the UK economy. This shift represents a fundamental change in how EU citizens can live, work, and study in the UK, emphasizing a more regulated approach to immigration.

Changes to Immigration Rules

Post-Brexit, EU citizens are subject to the same immigration controls as non-EU nationals, a stark change from the previous freedom of movement. This alignment means that EU citizens looking to live or work in the UK must navigate the points-based immigration system introduced in January 2021.

Points-Based Immigration System

This system evaluates candidates based on specific criteria such as skill level, English language proficiency, and a valid job offer from an approved employer. The aim is to attract individuals who can contribute to the UK economy based on skills and qualifications.

Visa Routes for EU Citizens

For EU citizens, these changes necessitate a thorough understanding of the new criteria and preparation to meet these standards to ensure eligibility and compliance with UK immigration laws. This system emphasizes the UK’s shift towards a more regulated immigration framework focusing on skills and economic contribution.

For more detailed and specific information, you may refer to the official UK Government immigration site or consult the latest changes to the immigration rules as of 2024.

5. Support Services and Resources for EU Citizens in the UK

As EU citizens navigate the post-Brexit landscape in the UK, several organizations and services are available to provide comprehensive support and resources. Enhancing this section with more detailed descriptions of these services and how they can specifically assist EU citizens can make it more informative and valuable.

Key Organizations and Resources

These organizations play a pivotal role in assisting EU citizens in understanding and adjusting to the new regulations and requirements set by the UK government post-Brexit. By engaging with these services, EU nationals can better secure their rights and continue contributing to the UK community effectively.

For those looking for more comprehensive support or specific advice, these organizations’ websites and local offices are accessible resources for assistance and guidance.

6. Recent Developments and Outlook for EU-UK Relations

Staying informed about the latest developments in immigration policies and procedures is crucial, as these can significantly impact EU citizens’ rights in the UK. Here are some of the recent changes and updates:

Ongoing Negotiations

Several ongoing negotiations could have substantial impacts on various aspects of life for EU citizens in the UK:

Future Outlook

The future of EU-UK relations is marked by uncertainty and will heavily depend on the outcomes of ongoing negotiations. Key areas to watch include:

7. Conclusion: EU Citizens Rights in the UK after Brexit

This blog post has provided a detailed examination of the rights of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit, focusing on key areas such as the EU Settlement Scheme, changes in voting rights, travel and living conditions for UK citizens in the EU, and the support services available to EU citizens in the UK. We’ve also discussed the importance of staying updated with ongoing developments and negotiations that could affect these rights.

Key Takeaways

  • Settled and Pre-Settled Status:
    • It is essential for EU citizens to secure either settled or pre-settled status to continue living and working in the UK.
    • This status grants rights related to employment, healthcare, education, and family reunification​​.
  • Impact on Rights:
    • The changes impact various aspects of life, including work, access to healthcare services, educational opportunities, and the ability to bring family members to the UK.
    • The points-based immigration system has introduced new criteria and thresholds that must be met​​.
  • Support Availability:
    • Numerous organizations offer guidance and assistance to EU citizens navigating these changes.
    • Key organizations include the UK Home Office, Citizens Advice, The3million, and Settled, which provide resources ranging from legal advice to assistance with the EU Settlement Scheme applications​​.
  • Staying Informed:
    • It is crucial for EU citizens to stay informed about ongoing negotiations and policy updates.
    • Regularly checking official sources and updates from advocacy groups can help in understanding the evolving landscape and preparing for any new changes​ ​.

Final Thoughts

For both EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, understanding and adapting to these changes is key to accessing opportunities and benefits. The post-Brexit era brings complexity, but staying informed and seeking support from available resources can help navigate these challenges effectively. By keeping abreast of developments and engaging with support services, EU citizens can ensure they are well-prepared to handle the implications of Brexit on their rights and lives.

8. FAQs: Post-Brexit EU Citizens’ Rights in the UK

  1. Do EU citizens need a visa to visit the UK post-Brexit?

    For short visits up to 180 days, EU citizens don’t need a visa for tourism, family visits, or business trips. For longer stays or specific purposes like work or study, a visa may be required.

  2. Can EU citizens still access NHS healthcare in the UK?

    EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for NHS services. Additionally, those in the UK under other valid immigration statuses may also access NHS healthcare based on their specific visa conditions.

  3. Are EU citizens allowed to vote in UK elections after Brexit?

    EU citizens can vote in local elections and, in some cases, regional elections in Scotland and Wales. However, they are no longer eligible to vote in European Parliament elections or UK parliamentary elections unless covered by specific bilateral agreements

  4. What is the EU Settlement Scheme and who is eligible?

    The EU Settlement Scheme allows EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who lived in the UK before December 31, 2020, to obtain settled or pre-settled status, enabling them to continue living in the UK post-Brexit. This also includes provisions for those with permanent residence cards to apply late under certain circumstances​

  5. What rights do EU citizens have with settled status in the UK?

    Settled status grants rights to work, use NHS services, access public funds and services, and apply for British citizenship. It also allows for family reunification and other benefits akin to those enjoyed by UK nationals​

  6. Can family members of EU citizens join them in the UK post-Brexit?

    Close family members can join EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status in the UK. They need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and must meet specific criteria to secure their status​.

  7. How has Brexit affected UK citizens living in the EU?

    UK citizens in the EU face new rules for residency, travel, and access to services. Bilateral agreements between the UK and EU countries may offer specific rights, but these vary by country and are subject to ongoing negotiations.

  8. What should EU citizens in the UK do to secure their rights post-Brexit?

    EU citizens should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to secure their residency and rights in the UK. This is crucial for maintaining their ability to live, work, and access services in the UK​

  9. Are there changes to work and study rights for EU citizens in the UK?

    EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status retain their rights to work and study in the UK. Those arriving post-Brexit need to comply with the new points-based immigration system, which includes specific visa routes for different purposes such as the Skilled Worker Visa and the Student Visa​.

  10. Where can EU citizens find support and advice on their rights in the UK?

    Organizations like the UK Home Office, Citizens Advice, The3million, and Settled provide resources and support for EU citizens in the UK. These organizations offer guidance on immigration, legal advice, and help with applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

This FAQ section aims to address key concerns and provide succinct answers for EU citizens rights in the UK after Brexit. For further details on EU Citizens’ Rights in the UK after Brexit, please refer to: UK Government: Settled and Pre-Settled Status.