Virginia, US

Feb 04 2019

No-Deal Brexit Plans for UK Nationals Published

Austria

The situation

The Austrian government has published plans for the treatment of UK nationals residing in Austria, to take effect after March 29, 2019 in case of a no-deal Brexit scenario.

A closer look

The government has submitted a legislative proposal to parliament, which includes the following details:

  • Grace period. There would be a six-month grace period, commencing on March 29, 2019 or another date the Austrian chancellor confirms as the date the United Kingdom exits from the European Union, during which time UK nationals residing in Austria would be required to apply for a national residence permit.
  • Affected applicants. Only UK nationals currently holding an EU Residence Declaration would be able to continue working and staying in Austria, provided that they file a national residence permit application within the grace period. This grace period will only apply to UK nationals who arrived in Austria within three months before Brexit, or before December 30, 2018. This is an unusual provision compared to other EU countries’ no-deal contingency plans, which allow foreign nationals already in that EU country to apply for a residence permit.
  • Non-EU family members. Non-EU family members of UK nationals holding a corresponding residence permit would similarly be able to continue staying in Austria, provided that they file a national residence permit application within the grace period.
  • Stays over five years. UK nationals and their non-EU family members residing in Austria for five years or longer as of March 29, 2019 would be able to apply for a permanent residence permit under the same requirements as for qualifying third-country nationals; there may be a German language (level B1) waiver, but this would be for the Austrian Foreign Ministry to decide.
  • Stays under five years.
    • General rules. UK nationals and their non-EU family members residing in Austria for a period shorter than five years as of March 29, 2019, and residing in Austria since December 29, 2018 or before, would be able to apply for a Red-White-Red Card Plus without having to demonstrate German language skills, and without having to submit proof of accommodation, health insurance or sufficient financial means.
    • Alternatives. UK national residents and their non-EU family members could also apply for another Austrian permit type under the immigration rules for non-EU nationals, although no exemptions to the eligibility criteria have been confirmed for other permit types.
    • Renewals. Upon renewal, the UK national and their non-EU family member Red-White-Red Card Plus holder who seek to extend their Red-White-Red Card Plus would benefit from the same exemptions as per their initial application within the grace period; only in case of a switch to another permit would the UK national need to meet the same requirements as non-EU nationals.
    • New arrivals. UK nationals and their non-EU family members residing in Austria since December 30, 2018 or after, including new arrivals after March 29, 2019, would be able to stay in Austria until their visa-free stay period expires, but would be required to apply for a national work and residence permit. Eligibility criteria would be the same as for non-EU applicants.


Impact

UK nationals who will continue to work and reside in Austria past March 29, 2019 should apply for an EU Residence Declaration as soon as possible if they do not yet hold one.

Importantly, UK nationals who did not arrive in Austria before December 30, 2018 would fall under non-EU immigration rules if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Background

The proposal is a part of the government’s contingency planning in case no Brexit deal is concluded between the European Union and the United Kingdom before March 29, 2019. Austria’s proposal is among the strictest published thus far, with a short grace period and requirement of three months prior residence to be eligible for favorable treatment.

Many other EU countries have published contingency plans for UK nationals in case of a no-deal Brexit, with more expected soon. Fragomen will provide updates on the situation as they become available.

Looking ahead

Further details of the government plans have yet to be announced; all plans must receive final approval from the Austrian parliament. Fragomen will provide updates on the situation as they become available.

Please contact a Fragomen immigration professional for assistance in planning contingency arrangements in a single project.

For more information, please visit Fragomen's dedicated Brexit site, which contains news, FAQs, and analysis/commentary in the form of blogs, videos, webcasts and events.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.