What are the rights of UK
citizens in Europe after Brexit?
January 18, 2019
With under 70 days to go until Brexit, it is worth remembering that the end of free movement applies both ways. Once we leave the European Union, the estimated 1.3 million UK citizens who are living in Europe will lose their automatic right to pass between all the member states of the EU.
Changes in immigration status
The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. But it will be up to each EU country to determine its own immigration policy after Brexit.
Between 30 March 2019 and 31 December 2020, free movement rights will continue to apply. If a UK national is legally resident in the EU by the end of this implementation period, they will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and will be able to continue living in their country of residence.
If a UK national moves to another EU country during the implementation period, they will have until June 2021 to make their application to reside permanently. Thereafter, the right of residence, says the Home Office, will be determined by any UK-EU future partnerships yet to be agreed – which doesn’t reassure people who have already or are planning to made their home abroad.
Who will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement?
- Any UK national who is lawfully residing in an EU country on 31 December 2020
- A family member of an EU citizen who meets these requirements
- Someone who has already obtained permanent residence in an EU member state.
After the end of the Implementation Period, future arrangements if you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be determined by the negotiations on the UK-EU future partnership.
Please contact us here for more information on any aspect of UK immigration after Brexit.