Brexit Day is 31 October 2019. We don’t know if we will leave then with a Deal or with NoDeal.
3 years and 4 months of comings and goings, of rantings and ravings since the Referendum result and still we have no idea, not a clue………
This matters to EEA nationals wanting to come to the UK to live and work after 31 October 2019 as there are unfortunately different rules to apply depending on whether we have a Deal or NoDeal.
The rights of EEA nationals already in the UK by 31 October 2019 are unaffected by whether there is a Deal or NoDeal. These people have the right to live and work in the UK visa free but they must register under the EU Settlement Scheme. There are different deadline dates for a Deal and for a NoDeal.
In the (unlikely) event of an extension to the Brexit deadline, then that would mean no change to the current position which is that EEA nationals are free to exercise Treaty Rights and come and live and work in the UK visa free.
Our recommendation is that any EEA national planning to come to the UK to live and work in the next few months should arrive by 31 October 2019. No later! This is to minimise any hassle with right to work, right to live.
In the event of a Deal and Brexit on 31 October 2019, the position is as follows:
There is no change. EEA nationals arriving after 31 October 2019 will have the right to live and work in the UK visa free. This right carries on for the transitional phase of the Withdrawal Agreement (the Deal), currently intended to last till 31 December 2020.
The deadline for applying under the EU Settlement Scheme will be 30 June 2021.
Note: You can bet your last dollar this transitional phase will need to be extended. You can also bet your other bottom dollar there will be bitter arguments between Remainers and Brexiteers over whether to extend and if so, for how long!!
After 31 December 2020, there will be a new immigration regime in place where EEA nationals arriving after that date will require a visa of some sort to live and work in the UK. The immigration regime for EEA nationals will be the same as for nationals from any other country (apart from Ireland as the Irish enjoy and will continue to enjoy special visa free status).
In the event of a NoDeal and Brexit on 31 October 2019, the position is as follows:
There is unfortunately currently much uncertainty over the right to live and work in the UK for EEA nationals arriving after 31 October 2019.
The Brexit Order 2019 grants EEA nationals arriving after 31 October 2019 leave to enter automatically for 3 months.
In a policy paper published on 28 January 2019, the Home office outlined that EEA nationals would be required to apply for “European temporary leave to remain” (for 36 months) if they wish to remain in the UK for longer than 3 months and that this will include the right to work and study.
The latest Home Office factsheet contradicts this and states:
“EEA citizens will still be able to come to the UK on holiday and for short trips, but what will change is the arrangements for people coming to the UK for longer periods of time and for work and study. Details of other changes immediately after 31 October and improvements to the previous government’s plans for a new immigration system are being developed.”
The government’s intention based on this appears to be that new entrants after 31 October 2019 will not have the right to work or study visa free. But there is no procedure in place that an EEA national intending to arrive after 31 October 2019 can use. And it is far too late to put one in place for 1 November 2019.
The government has been asked to clarify the position urgently. We await news.
The deadline for applying under the EU Settlement Scheme will be 31 December 2020.