Information for EU citizens in
the event of a no-deal Brexit

The Home Secretary has set out the government’s plans for EU nationals who want to come to the UK after March 2019, if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal.

Sajid Javid said:

If we leave the EU without a deal we will continue to deliver on the referendum result and end free movement once and for all – giving us full control of our borders for the first time in decades.

‘However, we need to take a practical approach and minimise disruption to ensure the UK stays open for business. That is why we will introduce time-limited transitional arrangements and grant EU citizens coming after March 29 temporary leave.

‘Let me be clear. This policy does not apply to those here before exit day, whose rights to live and work will be protected by the EU Settlement Scheme. We want them to stay and value them hugely.’

At the moment, EU citizens who enter the UK before Brexit are eligible to apply for the Settlement Scheme. EU citizens who arrive in the UK after Brexit Day but who were previously living in the UK before 29 March 2019 can also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The temporary arrangements include:

  • Short visits of up to three months will remain the same, with EU nationals not needing to apply for a visa for any immigration status or visa.
  • If an EU national wants to stay for longer than three months, they will need to apply to the Home Office for European Temporary Leave to Remain within three months of their arrival.
  • If they pass all the identity, criminality and security checks, they will be allowed to work or study for up to three years.
  • However, European Temporary Leave to Remain will be a non-extendable immigration status. It will not give indefinite leave to remain (ILR), nor lead to eligibility to register for the EU Settlement Scheme or make EU citizens eligible to stay in the UK indefinitely.
  • EU nationals seeking to stay beyond the expiry of their European Temporary Leave to Remain will need to apply for an immigration status under the new system, which comes into force on 1 January 2021.
  • Family permits will be available for third country national family members who wish to accompany an EU citizen after March 2019.

These changes will affect all EU citizens, as well those from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Travel arrangements for Irish citizens will stay the same.


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