The UK Government has just reached an agreement with the European Union on EU citizens’ rights in the UK after the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019. There will be reciprocal protections and rights for UK nationals living in the EU. They are as follows:
- Those who have been living in the UK for 5 continuous years can apply for the new ‘settled status’, meaning they will be free to live in the UK indefinitely, have access to public funds and services and can go on to apply for British citizenship;
- Those who arrived before 29th March 2019, but have not been in the UK for 5 years will be able to stay until they reach the 5 year period and can then apply for the new ‘settled status’;
- Family dependents living with, or join EU citizens in the UK before 29th March 2019 will also be able to apply for ‘settled status’ after 5 years in the UK;
- Children born after exit are protected if their parents are protected;
- Close family members will be able to join their families in the UK after exit;
- EU citizens will be asked to apply for a new-streamlined user-friendly scheme;
- The fee for applying for settled status will be no more than the cost charged to a British citizen for a UK passport;
- If you already hold a valid permanent residence document you will be able to have it converted to a settled status document free of charge;
- Healthcare, pensions and other benefit provisions will remain the same for EU citizens in the UK.
The Government have said that for all applications for settled status, they will not check that applicants have held comprehensive sickness insurance for the 5 year period, good news for applicants who are students or self-sufficient person. The Government have also said that applicants for settled status will not have to account for every trip that they have taken in and out of the UK.
We will continue to keep you updated.