Connecticut, US

Jan 28 2019

Policy Paper Proposes Rights of European Economic Area and Swiss Nationals in No-Deal Brexit

United Kingdom

A new policy paper published by the UK government sets out the rights of European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals if the United Kingdom and European Union do not reach a Withdrawal Agreement on or before March 29, 2019.

A closer look

The below conditions would apply in case of a no-deal Brexit if the UK government adopts the guidelines in this policy paper:

  • Arrival pre-Brexit. EEA and Swiss nationals who arrive in the United Kingdom prior to Brexit, and those who arrive in the United Kingdom after Brexit but who were previously living in the United Kingdom before Brexit, would be able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • Short-term stays post Brexit. Between March 30, 2019 and 31 December 2020 inclusive, EEA and Swiss nationals seeking to stay in the United Kingdom for under three months would not need to apply for any immigration status or visa.
  • Long-term stays post Brexit. Between March 30, 2019 and December 31, 2020, EEA and Swiss nationals seeking to stay in the United Kingdom for over three months would need to apply for a status called European Temporary Leave to Remain, which will allow a stay of up to 36 months. This is a temporary, non extendable leave.   This status would require a fee, the amount of which has not yet been announced. Irish citizens would not need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain and would continue to have rights to live and work in the United Kingdom.
  • Long-term stays post January 2021. EEA nationals who would intend to stay in the United Kingdom for more than 36 months would need to apply for immigration status under the new immigration system. Those who do not qualify will need to leave the United Kingdom when their European Temporary Leave to Remain expires.
  • Family members. Non-EEA national family members of EEA nationals in the United Kingdom would need to apply for a family permit before accompanying or joining their EEA relative post-Brexit.



Impact for employers

The prospect of a no-deal Brexit will be unsettling for existing employees and will create extra complications for those entering the United Kingdom after Brexit. Where possible, Fragomen advises employers to create a measured communications plan to reassure employees and provide practical advice on the steps they need to take. Employers are also advised to ensure that EEA workers who enter after a no-deal Brexit register their status, providing guidance and direction.

Background

This policy paper provides guidelines to the UK Parliament in the next step of its review of policy in case of a no-deal Brexit.

The UK government and EU Member States have stepped up no-deal planning since the UK Prime Minister’s deal was rejected by UK Parliament on January 15. EU Member States have begun to set out their contingency plans, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy, among others.

Looking ahead

The next step will be for the UK government to adopt the proposals set out in the policy paper into draft laws, which would need to be accepted by the UK Parliament before they could take effect. Fragomen will report on these steps as they occur.

Fragomen will issue updates on Brexit as developments occur. 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 londoninfo@fragomen.com.