May 23, 2017
11 months on from the UK’s decision to ‘Brexit’ from the European Union and we are no closer to knowing what will happen to EEA nationals living in the UK once the UK has officially made its exit.
This uncertainty has been compounded by the announcement of another general election and subsequent party manifestos promising to crack down further on immigration to the UK.
There are steps which EEA nationals can take now, however, in order to alleviate their concerns and beat the Brexit Blues!
Currently, EEA nationals wishing to remain in the UK post-Brexit can consider the following immigration options (according to their situation):
- Apply for a registration certificate – If you have been in the UK for a period of less than five years, you can apply for a registration certificate which would certify that you are in the UK in accordance with current treaty rights. This will be valid for five years from its date of issue and could allow you to remain in the UK following our official withdrawal from the EU for the remaining validity of your certificate.
- Confirm you permanent residency – If you have been resident in the UK for five or more continuous years, you can seek confirmation of your permanent residency rights. This confirms that you have the right to live permanently in the UK, regardless of any post-Brexit removal of free movement rights.
- Apply for British citizenship – If you are already in possession of permanent residency, and have been in the UK for five years or more, you could be eligible to apply for British Citizenship. This would grant you all the rights of a UK citizen, and allow you to apply for a British passport.
But what is the best choice for me?
There are in fact more visa and immigration options which EEA nationals and their families could look at in order to safeguard themselves against a worst-case scenario. Make sure you seek professional advice and consider all relevant options before making an application!
And what about my family and dependants in the UK?
If you successfully apply for any of the options listed in the bullet points above, it is more than likely that your dependants in the UK will be protected by your new immigration status.
Contact Smith Stone Walters for friendly and up-to-date immigration advice on your options – we specialise in UK immigration and can help you identify your best plan of action.