We know that many of our followers are EU citizens, and many of you are worried about your future when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.
The UK Government has already reached an agreement with the EU, so although the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019, nothing will change until 1 January 2021. The Government have announced that a new EU Settlement Scheme will open later this year, where you’ll have until 30 June 2021 to make an application to stay here.
So firstly, it’s important to say that you don’t need to do anything at the moment, you can continue to live and work here with the same rights to public services as you do now.
Anyone who moves here between now and 31 December 2020 will be able to apply for settled status.
Here’s what we know about the scheme so far:
The system will be very easy to use to use. You will only need to type in personal details, prove your identity and prove you have no serious criminal convictions. The system will verify everything else using employment and benefit records.
It will be cheap to apply
If you have lived in the UK for 5 years, it will cost £65 to apply for ‘Settled Status’, and £32.50 for children under 16. Alternatively, if you already have valid permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain documentation, you’ll be able to exchange it for free.
In addition, your existing close family members (spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependent child or grandchild, and dependent parent or grandparent), will also be eligible for the scheme, even if they’re not currently living in the UK. You will need to apply on behalf of your child.
If you have a child after getting settled status, they will automatically become a British citizen if they’re born in the UK. You will not need to apply for settled status on their behalf.
If you have not lived in the UK for 5 years when the scheme opens, don’t worry. You will be granted ‘pre-settled status’ which can be swapped for full ‘Settled Status’, using the new system, after 5 years.
You do not need to do anything now
You do not need to do anything just yet. The scheme will open later this year, and the deadline is 30 June 2021, so you will have plenty of time. Your application will only be refused on security or fraud grounds, or if you have serious criminal convictions. There will be no limit placed on how many people can successfully apply.
Please note that Irish citizens will not need to apply. Rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are currently being negotiated.
If you’re currently working for us and would like any further information or guidance, please don’t hesitate to speak to a member of the team who will be glad to help.
We will keep you updated as we learn more about the Brexit process.
You can sign up for email updates and also find more details by visiting the following website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/status-of-eu-nationals-in-the-uk-what-you-need-to-know