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A Guide to EU Citizens Rights In UK After Brexit

Expert Immigration Advice Service for EU Nationals in the UK

Are you an EU national based in the UK? If so, this article will help you understand more about EU citizens rights in UK after Brexit. For many EEA nationals in the UK, the big question is “what will happen to EU citizens in UK after Brexit, or What is likely to become of EU citizens rights after Brexit? Is there a possibility of deportation of EU nationals after Brexit? This is really going to be massive when you consider how many EU citizens in UK.

Although the answers to some of these questions are still not clarified, what is clear is that EU citizens living in the UK will have to determine their official status and apply for settled or pre-settled status. This, however, must not be confused with British Citizenship, but rather, offers EU nationals the opportunity to remain in the UK after Brexit. After five years of continuous stay in the UK, EU nationals can later make an application for permanent residence if they meet the requirements.

If you need some assistance with your application for settled and pre-settled status, the professionals here at Master Legal Services can help. We are one the best immigration lawyers in London that provide comprehensive immigration services to businesses as well as to individuals, based inside and outside the UK.

For further information, feel free to contact our office to speak to an expert on 020 8935 5205 or via Whatsapp on 07710987064. In the meantime, continue reading for further information about applying for Pre-Settled and Settled Status.

EU Citizens Rights In UK After Brexit – What We Already Know

The process of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU was set-off by the June 23 Brexit referendum. The process, which has caused lasting anxiety for European Union citizens and their family members who are currently residents in the UK, has been fraught with uncountable uncertainties.

The population of European Union nationals already in the United Kingdom is estimated at over 3.5 million and this figure is excluding the new EU citizen moving to UK whose move will still increase the already existing statistics. EU nationals resident in the United Kingdom have ample opportunity to act in order to ensure a continued stay in Britain after it has successfully exited from the EU.

Currently, the UK government has only released a few details of its Brexit strategy and the form that Brexit is likely to take is not clear cut. No one knows when Article 50 which will mark the beginning of the two-year process of Brexit negotiations is going to be activated. Officials of the United Kingdom have released the process that European Union nationals must pass through in order to ensure a continued stay in the UK after Brexit.

What Happens to EU citizens in UK after Brexit?

So what do we know about the Brexit EU citizens rights and how they are likely to change in the nearest future? What is now clear is that EU citizens after Brexit will have to leverage on the European Union settlement Scheme if they wish to stay after June 2021.

What Brexit & the Withdrawal of the UK means for EU Citizens?

As mentioned above, EU nationals in UK will have to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status. They will not need the use of a visa to travel to Britain but they will have to get one if they have the intention to work. It also looks like they are not likely to be granted indefinite leave for continued stay in Britain with the present set up.

I’m a Citizen of the European Union. Can I live in the UK?

Yes, it is possible to stay in the UK even when the proposed Brexit deal comes to pass. If Brexit becomes a reality, Britain and Brussels have come to an agreement that European Union citizens are free to continue arriving, settling as well as working in Britain just like it is presently but this grace will only go as far as 31 December 2020. The eligibility criteria states that;

  • If you arrive in the UK before the afore mentioned date, you will be granted the right to apply for continued stay in the United Kingdom permanently.
  • This rule is also going to be applicable the other way round for UK citizens who are resident in the other 27 member European Union nations.
  • At the expiration of the cutoff date which is 31 December 2020 citizens of the European Union who wish to live and work in Britain would have to apply for a visa. But according to initial government proposals unlimited “low-skilled” European Union immigration will be allowed until 2025.

As it is at the moment, the issue of when the government of the United Kingdom will be in a position to guarantee the rights of European Union citizens in Britain is not very clear. The reason for their inability is that the agenda for Brexit negotiations is still pending and has not been agreed on. It is believed EU citizens are in for some preferential deals during the process of Brexit negotiation and the present prime minister is likely go for a work permit system for everyone. However, it is necessary to have some form of concession for European Union workers.

How long do I need to have to stay in the UK to get Citizenship?

Two types of status exist, settled, and pre-settled, the question now is,

How to apply for settled status in UK for EU citizens or better still settled status UK EU citizens 

  • A citizen of the EU who have stayed up to five years and above in Britain by December 31, 2020 will be eligible to submit their application for settled status.

What this means in essence is that the individuals in this category are free to continue staying as well as working in Britain.

The other type of status which is Pre-settled is targeted at individuals who have not spent up to five years in Britain, but the pre-settled status comes with the right to for continued stay till they get to the bench mark of five years. Once their tenor is up to five years, they will be eligible to apply for permanent stay.

When should EU Citizens start applying For Settled Status?

The first date of Brexit is supposed to be the 30th of March 2019 and is also the same day that the scheme was launched fully.

A test run of almost 30,000 applicants prior to January 2019 processed two thirds got approved within three working days and 81% in one week.

With a lot of improvements being made, nearly a quarter of the concerned population made it known to the UK government that it was a difficult situation during previous testing. But we expect a phase roll-out later in the year.

When is the deadline to apply for Settled Status?

The closing date for applying on the scheme is the 30th of June 2021 but this includes a grace period of half a year for individuals who forgot to send in their applications. Vulnerability is also given consideration in the scheme, so those who are vulnerable are also allowed to take advantage of the grace period.

How much will it cost to apply for Settled Status?

It was first stipulated that the maximum fee was to be £65, which was supposed to come as a one off charge, but from what is perceivable, this charge has been axed. The scheme is going to be free of charge for every applicant following a reversal by the Tory administration in January 2019..

Before the turnaround, European Union nationals were due to be charged a total of £65, or £32.50 for minors under the age of 16.

Children in care have always been due to have their own applications processed for free.

Even the individuals who already have indefinite leave to remain documents or permanent residence were also always going to be processed free of charge. So recent developments stipulates that fees are not going to be part of the scheme.

EU Citizens Rights In UK After Brexit –Can I apply online?

Yes it is very much possible to submit your application online; the scheme will work with many smartphones but not all, though it will not work with iPhone. According to the Home Office, they have created an online application which will be user-friendly as well as simple..

Applicants will be required to provide some information which include; biographical information, uploading of a facial photograph or passport and declaration of whether they have any past criminal records..

The only problem it seems to have is the fact that it will not be able to work on iPhones because Apple devices are not able to read the chips we have on passports. Individuals who posses only iPhones will have to look for alternative ways of applying like by post or better still they can apply through a desktop.

Duration the test phase, the only other way you can scan your documents is by going to one of the 13 ‘document scanning’ centers in the UK. One is located in Scotland and the closest to Penzance is located 200 miles away. According to the Home Office, it will be possible for applicants to make use of a postal service come April. However, the whole process seems long-winded, hence why it’s best to apply with the help of our immigration lawyers in London.

Is settled status the same as citizenship?

UK citizenship is never the same thing as settled status. Settled status will not grant you a UK passport or British citizenship. In fact, settled status is meant to grant fewer rights than UK citizenship but it is a whole lot easier to process.

For example, European Union nationals who are resident in the UK will not be required to show evidence of their knowledge of language and life in Britain to be able to get settled status.

If you are an EU citizen living in Britain and you have been able to gain settled status, you will be qualified to submit applicattion for full British citizenship after one year. Besides, settled status is also not the same with residence permit for EU citizens in UK, you have your UK residence card when you gain resident permit.

UK Settled Status Application – Your rights with settled status

If you have settled status you can stay in the UK as long as you like.

You can also:

  • apply for British citizenship, if you’re eligible
  • work in the UK
  • use the NHS
  • enrol in education or continue studying
  • access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
  • travel in and out of the UK

You can also bring close family members to the UK after 31 December 2020 if both of the following apply:

  • your relationship with them began before 31 December 2020
  • you are still in the relationship when they apply to join you

If your relationship with them began after 31 December 2020, your family member will be able to come here on a family visa.

Any children born in the UK while you’re living here will automatically be British citizens.

You should be able to spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status.

Will I lose settled status if I leave the UK?

Yes, the possibility to lose your settled status right is a stark reality. European Union nationals who have settled status will lose it as well as their right for continued stay in the UK if they are absence from Britain for over five years

What about pre-settled status?

Permanent right to stay cannot come from pre-settled status and to keep it maintained, citizens of the EU must keep up continuous residence in Britain. From 2021, any EU national who comes to join a person who already has settled status must continue with the relationship (like marriage) for up to five years in order to be able to qualify for his or her own settled status.

Will I be able to go on holiday with Settled Status?

Yes it is possible, keeping ‘continuous residence’ for the initial five years does not mean that you cannot leave the country at all, it only means not going out of the UK for over six months within one year.

How to apply for settled status in UK for EU citizens?

Every EU national and their family members who are currently living in UK will have the need to apply for British settled status after Brexit becomes effective. While the settled status will come under British law, the conditions on which people will either obtain it or lose is not likely to be any stricter than those rules laid down in the present European Union free movement law either for obtaining or losing your right to permanent residence. This means that:

  • Anyone that would qualify for permanent residence under European Union free movement law will also be able to meet the criteria for the British settled status.
  • The British authorities are in a position to grant settled status to individuals who would not qualify for the grant of permanent residence under European Union  free movement law.
  • Anybody that would not qualify to lose his or her permanent residence under the European Union  free movement law will also lose the British settled status;
  • Citizens of the EU and the  members of their families will be granted a right of absence for up to five years from Britain without the fear of losing their UK settled status; and
  • It is the prerogative of the British authorities to decide whether or not to withdraw settled status from those individuals who have recorded absence for over five years.

In other words, UK settled status can be referred to as “an EU permanent residence plus”.

Unlike under the present European Union free movement law, every citizen of EU in addition to the members of their families who are living in Britain will be required to acquire settled status – or even temporary leave while the five years residence needed for the qualification continues to accrue – This will serve as the legal basis for such people’s continued stay in the UK

What about family members who live abroad? Can they apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?

Yes it is possible for family members to join European Union nationals in the UK. Lose family members who reside abroad are free to join an EU national in Britain after December 2020.

Those family members will also be in a position to submit applications for the scheme. In this case, the definition of close family is wife or husband, civil partner, child/grandchild who is still dependent, parent/grandparent that are dependent, or a partner who has cohabited with their partner for a couple of years at least. There is protection for future kids but siblings don’t have such protection, so brothers and sisters are not part of the deal.

Also couples need to have either been wedded or in a visible ‘durable’ relationship already by the time of the cutoff date of 31 December 2020 comes to pass.

Can I still access the NHS after Brexit?

According to the Home Office, individuals who are granted the status will still enjoy the same access as they presently do which means pensions, healthcare and any other benefits. This may sound broad but it will not be same as the rights enjoyed by UK nationals. Also, it is not fully confirmed whether the process will involve a fee or not – this will be confirmed later.

Will I be rejected if I have a minor criminal offence?

According to Sajid Javid – the present Home Secretary, the approach that will be eventually taken is going to be sensible, so the likely answer to the question is in the negative. At least, no one needs to face such situation. The Home office document tagged it a sensible approach, explaining that they are not interested in minor offenses or misdemeanors like when people are charged with parking fine. It is only when an individual has faced convictions for serious offences like felony that his or her application will be considered for rejection

How quickly will my settled status application be processed?

With every necessary documentation in place, the Home office believes that applicants should be expecting a response after a couple of weeks of applying.

Is it necessary for me to have an ‘ID card’?

An identity card is not a necessity in this case, so the answer is no. European Union citizens are going to receive proof of settled status and this will come in digital form – Physical documents will not be issued in this regard.

What happens if my application is rejected?

If a refused application is a valid one, such individual will have to exercise his right to call for an administrative review.

Besides, applicants who have faced refusals under this scheme are free to submit new application forms at any time but this should not exceed the last day in June 2021. Applications can be submitted as many times as possible from a single individual as long as it does not exceed the stipulated date.

To cap it all, UK government is in the process of hatching a plan that will introduce a system which gives legal right of appeal to any application that will come in from March next year.

Can EEA Nationals Apply for Permanent Residence After Brexit?

Permanent Residence is an immigration status granted to EEA nationals who are considered to be a ‘qualified person’ for at least 5 years. A qualified person is an EEA national who is in the UK in any of the following categories:

  • a job seeker;
  • a worker;
  • a self-employed person;
  • a self-sufficient person;
  • a student.

The following persons have the right to a Permanent Residence Card in the UK:

  • an EEA national who has resided in the UK for a continuous period of five years;
  • a family member of a EEA national (who is not himself an EEA national) who has resided in the UK with the EEA national in accordance with the 2006 Regulations for a continuous period of five years;
  • a worker or self-employed person who has ceased activity;
  • the family member of a worker or self-employed person who has ceased activity;
  • a person who was the family member of a worker or self-employed person where –
  • the worker or self-employed person has died,
  • the family member resided with him immediately before his death and the worker or self-employed person had resided continuously in the UK for at least the two years immediately before his death, or the death was the result of an accident at work or an occupational disease;
  • a person who:
  • has resided in the UK in accordance with the 2006 Regulations for a continuous period of five years and
  • was, at the end of that period, a family member who has retained the right to residence.

Brexit Immigration Lawyers London – Why Choose Master Legal Services?



High Success Rate Our team is dedicated to providing excellent services to each client.
Affordable  Fixed Fee We offer one of the most competitive fees in London.
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Conveniently Located Our office is very conveniently located in the City of London with a walking distance from both underground and overground stations (Bank, Monument, Aldgate, Tower Hill Station)
Language Solutions We have a multi-lingual team, which includes Russian, Farsi, Dari, Turkish languages.
Quality of Service We provide expert advice and our work is at an exceptionally high standard. This is reflected in our high success rates and our satisfied clients.
Free Initial Assessment Contact our office to get a free initial assessment of your circumstances.
Document Checking Service To ensure that your application is sent with ALL the correct and appropriate evidence, we provide an excellent document checking service.
OISC Accredited We are authorised and regulated by the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (‘OISC’).


EU Citizens Rights In UK After Brexit – How Our UK Immigration Advice Service Works

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Contact our office to speak to an expert today:

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