Are you an EU/EEA citizen who wants to stay in the UK? Here’s what you need to know.
We have many European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens living and working across Bristol North West, including hundreds of NHS workers at Southmead Hospital.
So I asked the Immigration Minister how you can apply to remain in the UK after Brexit. Here’s what I found out:
From the end of this year, it will be possible for EU and EEA citizens living in the UK (and their family members) to claim their right to settled status in the UK following Brexit.
Settled status means the right to stay, work, and receive full benefits, education and healthcare rights in the UK. Family members includes spouses, civil partners, direct descendants and dependent parents or grandparents of you or your spouse or civil partner.
Who is eligible for settled status?
EU or EEA citizens (or a relevant family member of one) are eligible. You must be resident in the UK, and not have a criminal record.
Other direct beneficiaries of an EU/EEA citizen (for example, a member of the same household who has a durable relationship with the EU citizen and is dependent on that EU citizen) may also be eligible.
Future family relationships (e.g. future spouses) are, according to the Government, “a matter for discussion”. We will know more about this when the Immigration Bill is presented to the House of Commons later this year.
Will I be eligible for permanent settled status, or temporary settled status?
If you have been living in the UK for more than five years, you can claim permanent settled status.
If you haven’t, you can claim temporary settled status until you have been here for five years. You can then claim permanent settled status.
How can I access this service?
Applications will be made on the internet, on the telephone or via paper formats.
It is also possible that public application points (for example, in local libraries) will be made available.
We will post the relevant details when the Government announce them.
What evidence do I need to provider?
You will need to show that you have been resident in the UK for five years or less. This can be proved by council tax bills, housing ownership/rental documents and/or utility bills.
You will need to show that you are an EU/EEA citizen. This can be proved with your birth certificate.
And you will need to self-declare that you don’t have a criminal record.
How much will it cost me to apply for?
It is expected to be less than the cost of applying for a passport (i.e, around £70).
How long will I be able to apply to the service for?
EU or EEA citizens will be able to access this service for two years after the UK leaves the EU; however extended deadlines will be applicable to those who miss the original deadline in the case of IT failures.
Unless the Government changes its position on Brexit, the two year period will start from the end of March 2019.