Brexit News | July 4, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions on Brexit for employers of EU citizens

In this article Julia Jackson explores some of the key issues employers of EU citizens face now, during the transition phase following the EU departure date, and thereafter.

Q: What are the key dates I should know about?

A: Brexit departure date: 29 March 2019

End of implementation period: 31 December 2020

(Note – The EU refers to this as the transition period.)

Deadline for Making Application for Settled Status: 30 June 2021

Q: What happens between now and the Brexit departure date?

A: The existing freedom of movement rights are unchanged.  EU nationals and their families can move freely to the UK until the Brexit date and those already here can continue to live and work in the UK.  The same rights are extended to citizens of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.  Both groups can apply for a registration card if desired but it is not necessary.  If they have been resident for a continuous period of five years it may be advantageous to apply for a permanent residence document before the UK leaves the EU.  This can then be swapped – free of charge – for the new settled status.

Q: What about EU nationals arriving during the transition period?

A: EU nationals can still move to the UK during this period and live and work in the UK.  However, the UK government has stated that these citizens will be required to register shortly after arrival in the UK.  Details of the registration scheme have yet to be released.

Q: What about long term rights?

A: Under the terms of the Draft Withdrawal Agreement, the remaining EU 27 countries and the UK have agreed to protect the rights of EU nationals who are living in the UK by the end of the transition period.

In line with that agreement, EU nationals wishing to remain in the UK after the end of the transition period will need to make an application for “settled status” before 30 June 2021.  Those who have been living here continuously for a period of 5 years will be granted “settled status”.  Those resident for a shorter period at the time of the application will be granted “pre-settled status”.

Q: How much will the “settled status” application cost?

A: The fee for an adult will be £65 and the fee for a child will be £32.50.  However, those who already have a permanent residence document will not be required to pay a fee.  In addition, anyone who has been granted the pre-settled status will be able to apply for settled status once they have been here for five years with no additional fee payable on the second application.

Q: What if the application is not made in time?

A: If an application for settled status is not made by the cut of date of 30 June 2021 the person concerned will be outside the Immigration Rules and will not be allowed to stay or work in the UK.

Q: Are Irish nationals treated differently?

A: Yes, Irish nationals enjoy a right of residence in the UK that is not reliant on the UK’s membership of the EU.  They do not, therefore, need to apply for settled status (but can do if they wish).  Family members who are not either Irish or British will need to apply for settled status.

Q: What about Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland?

A: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are in the European Economic Area but not in the EU.  Switzerland has a separate agreement on freedom of movement with the EU. These four countries are not covered by the Draft Withdrawal Agreement but the UK government has stated that it wants to secure a similar deal for citizens of these countries and that talks with the four states are progressing well.

Julia Jackson will be providing more information with regard to the settled status process and the status granted in the near future.