EEA Nationals Free Movement Right After Brexit

On the 18th December 2017, a new update was been received regarding the destiny of millions of Europeans residing in the UK. Those who arrive in the UK by the 29th March 2019 will be safe from the chaos expected after Brexit.

People from European Economic Area countries - who have been living in the UK for 5 continuous years up to 2019, will be entitled to apply for Permanent Residence (as already in force).

The good news refers to those who, by 2019, will be living in the UK for less than 5 years. In this last case, they will be entitled to apply for Permanent Residence as soon as they complete the 5 years of continuous residence, even though that will happen after March 2019.

In other words, despite the fact that EEA nationals can reside in the UK for less than 5 years at the time of Brexit, they will still be entitled to apply for settlement as soon as they complete the 5 years of continuous residence.

In order to be a Qualified Person, an EEA national must demonstrate to have been residing for five continuous years in the UK as:

  • Employed
  • Self-employed
  • Self-sufficient
  • Student
  • Job Seeker

For EEA family members, the root will be accessible as long as the relationship will be subsistent on 29th March 2019, while for children born after March 2019 from those relationships, there will not be restrictions and they will be entitled in any case.

Uncertainty is still present for EEA nationals who will decide to come to the UK after 29th March 2019. It seems that they will be temporarily be able to work, study and live in the UK, but negotiations are still open on this point.

During the six months after the referendum, more than 130k people applied for UK residency.

The agreement reached between the UK and the European Union on citizens' rights seems to be a relief for the 3 million of EEA nationals currently working in the UK. On a positive note, at least this first step is in place to help clarify their position and immigration status. Eventually, it seems that Theresa May's crocodile tears are turning to a positive direction for million of taxpayers.