Connecticut, US

Apr 02 2019

Post-Brexit Plans for UK Nationals Published

Bulgaria

At a Glance

The Bulgarian government has published plans for the treatment of UK nationals residing in Bulgaria after Brexit day in case of both a deal and no-deal Brexit scenario.  The government has only taken legislative steps in terms of a no-deal scenario at this time, and the central details of that plan are:

  • There would be a grace period commencing on Brexit day and ending December 31, 2020, during which time UK nationals who have entered and reside legally in Bulgaria would be able to apply for a national residence document.
  • Non-EU family members would have until December 31, 2020 or March 29, 2022, depending on when they arrived in Bulgaria, to apply for a national residence permit.

 

Both the no-deal and deal plans provide for a bill that allows amendments to the respective legislation.


The situation

The Bulgarian government has published plans for the treatment of UK nationals residing in Bulgaria after Brexit day in case of both a deal and no-deal Brexit scenario. However, the government has only taken legislative steps in terms of a no-deal scenario at this time.

A closer look – no-deal scenario

The published plans in case of a no-deal scenario include the following details:

  • Grace period. There would be a grace period commencing on Brexit day and ending December 31, 2020, during which time UK nationals who entered and reside legally in Bulgaria would be able to apply for a national residence document.
  • Registration required. UK nationals holding a Residence Certificate (удостоверение за пребиваване) – the key immigration formality for EU nationals staying in Bulgaria for more than three months – would be able to continue to stay in Bulgaria during the grace period.
    • UK nationals not registered. The wording of the law suggests that UK nationals currently staying in Bulgaria without a Residence Certificate would be limited to a term of stay of 90 days (the typical stay period allowed for visa-exempt nationals in Bulgaria) after their moment of entry, during which they would be required to initiate residence procedures. This is subject to change depending on the final text of the law.
  • Continued work unclear.  The plan does not state whether UK nationals currently residing in Bulgaria would be able to continue working in Bulgaria during the grace period.
  • Non-EU family members. Non-EU family members of UK nationals who were family members as of Brexit day but did not reside in Bulgaria as of that date would have until March 29, 2022 to apply for a national residence permit. Family members who became family members between Brexit day and December 31, 2020 would have until December 31, 2020 to apply for a national residence permit.
  • Arrivals after Brexit. The plan does not describe how UK nationals arriving after Brexit day would be treated, but it is likely that they would be treated as third-country nationals.

 

Impact

UK nationals who will continue to reside in Bulgaria past Brexit day should ensure that they take the necessary steps to obtain any documents required to register or apply for immigration status. UK nationals should also contact their local immigration offices to see if they are able to register or apply for their proper immigration status prior to 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 Brexit day.

Many other EU countries have published contingency plans for UK nationals in case of a no-deal Brexit, with more expected soon. 

Looking ahead

Further details of the government plans have yet to be announced; all plans must receive final approval from the Bulgarian 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.