The UK government has published an updated plan on the rights of EU citizens, if the country leaves the European Union without a deal. Europeans, living in Great Britain will still be able to use the current scheme to obtain immigration status, but their rights will be more limited. The grounds for obtaining immigration status under the existing scheme will remain the same. EU citizens and members of their families, who were permanently settled in the UK for five years will be eligible for ‘settled status’ (indefinite leave to remain in the UK). Those who lived in the UK for less than 5 years, will be able to obtain a ‘pre-settled status’ (five years’ limited leave to remain in the UK). Once they reach 5 years threshold they will be able to apply for “settled status”.
In the case of no-deal Brexit the following changes to the existing settlement scheme will be implemented:
• EU citizens who arrived in the UK before 29 March 2019 can register their immigration status under the new scheme. In case the deal is agreed the deadline is the end of 2020;
• applications for immigration status can be submitted only until 31 December 2020, but not until 30 June 2021 as agreed as a part of the deal;
• applicants will not have a right to appeal the decision. In case of refusal applicant can ask for internal administrative review or start a judicial review;
• it will be easier for the UK government to deport EU individuals convicted of minor crimes after 29 March 2019.
• It will become more difficult for non-European citizens to join their EU family members with a cut off date - 29 March 2019.
The Parliament will vote for a Brexit deal this Tuesday, 11 December 2018.