How the UK will manage the ‘settled status’ of over three million EU nationals involves a process and procedure that will be put in place for when the post Brexit scheme opens after 29 March 2018.
EU citizens and their families in the UK, regardless of when they arrived will be required to obtain an immigration status in UK law.
EU nationals that had applied for permanent residency status before Brexit will have to apply again. But the scheme in development for applying for settled status, which is presently being tested, will involve a more streamlined process and applicants would not be required to provide information about comprehensive sickness insurance as is a requirement under the current rules.
EU citizens studying and working in the UK will have to apply for their residence status and the application process will now involve a scheme within UK law, replacing the current one which certifies the exercise of rights under EU law. Concerns about this switch have been giving rise to rumours that EU citizens may lose voting rights and the protection from the European Court of Justice after Britain leaves the EU and the new scheme deals solely with residence status outside of the EU legal framework.
EU citizens who have obtained ‘settled status’ will have the same rights as British citizens and would therefore be able to bring family members into the UK. However, this will be subject to the income threshold test. After Brexit EU Nationals settled in the UK will lose the right to bring in a spouse – wife or husband- to live with them without meeting a minimum annual income threshold of £18,600. The minimum income threshold does not apply under the current scheme.
Notwithstanding the governments’ expressed desire to avoid the risk of separating families following Brexit, there is concern that the terms of ‘settled status’ may cause EU citizens to lose their entitlement to be joined by family members and that this will be to the detriment not only of individuals and families but of British business needs as well.
If you would like legal advice on the issue of settled status, please contact Alexis Hager firstname.lastname@example.org