What will happen if there is ‘No Deal’ in place
The UK government have outlined what would happen in the event that the UK leaves the EU with no deal in place.
The implementation period arrangements that had been agreed with the EU and which were set out in the draft withdrawal agreement will no longer bind the UK. The UK would be looking to end free movement via the Immigration and Social Security Co-Ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill. Upon the bill being passed by Parliament, it will result in the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, which currently allows for free movement in the UK, being repealed.
Resident EU Citizens
If there is a no deal, EU citizens and their family members already resident in the UK by 29th March 2019 will be welcome to stay. They will have until 31st December 2020 in which to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme in order to protect their status.
Ending Free Movement
Upon the end of free movement on 30 March 2019, EU citizens and their family members arriving in the UK will be admitted under the UK immigration Rules and will require permission (leave to enter/remain), it will not be a rights-based system. As previously under EU free movement law, an EU citizen did not require permission from the Home Office to be in the UK lawfully. Those that do not hold valid immigration permission to be in the UK, will be in the UK unlawfully and be liable to enforcement action being taken against them.
However, it will take time to implement the above and some time for EU citizens already in the UK to obtain their status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Thus, a temporary transitional period will be put in place until 31st December 2020.
EU Citizens visiting the UK
Visiting the UK will not look different for EU citizens coming to the UK for tourism/business purposes. The legal framework will change but EU citizens can come to the UK on short visits as they are able to do at present. They will be allowed to stay for a maximum of three months at a time as a visitor.
Crossing the Border
EU citizens will be able to enter the UK as they do now using e-gates when traveling on a biometric passport and enter the UK for short term visits without a visa.
Moreover, the UK deportation threshold in the case of criminality and conduct committed will apply after the UK’s exit.
An EU citizen will be granted leave to enter by order, which will mean they can stay in the UK for up to three months and be permitted to work and study upon their arrival.
In addition, until 31 December 2020, EU citizens will be able to enter the UK by showing either a valid national identity card or a valid passport.
Applying for permission to stay
An EU citizen who wishes to stay longer than three months will need to apply to the Home Office for leave to remain within three months of their arrival. Moreover, leave to remain will be granted for 36 months and will allow an EU citizen to both work and study. However, any leave to remain applications will be subject to identity, security and criminality checks.
The leave will not be able to be extended and those who wish to stay more long term will need to apply under future border and immigration arrangements.
There will be time given for EU citizens to be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme and for them be granted status, which as mentioned previously will be until December 2020. The Home Office will not ask employers/third parties such as Landlords to distinguish between EU citizens resident prior to Brexit and those resident after Brexit until 2021.
Upon the introduction of the new border and immigration systems in 2021, employers will need to check an EU Citizens’ status using the Home Office’s Digital Status Checker which is a system where an individual or your employer can access an individual’s right to work or rent in the UK. Please kindly refer to our article on ‘Right to Work Checklist’ for further information which can be accessed via this link https://bararassociates.com/right-to-work-checklist/. Until then, EU Citizens will continue to be able to evidence their rights to work/rent property using a passport or valid national ID Card.
Do you need to Pay?
EU citizens looking to enter the UK for 3 months can enter free od charge. However, a EU citizen who wishes to stay longer will need to pay an application fee. The precise amounts to pay will be set out later.
The arrangements aforementioned, will also apply to citizens of EFTA states, such as: Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) arriving on or after 30th March 2019.
Irish Citizens will continue to have the right to enter/live in the UK as they do now, under the domestic Common Travel Area Arrangements.
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