Leave to Remain:
4 March 2019
The government has announced more information about its arrangements for European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens who intend to live in the UK for longer than three months, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in March.
If there is no Brexit deal, EEA and Swiss citizens will still be able to enter the UK as they do now (until 2021) but they will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain if they wish to stay longer than three months.
European Temporary Leave to Remain should be applied for within three months of arriving in the UK. Those EU nationals with a serious or persistent criminal record or who are deemed to be a threat to national security will not be eligible.
Being granted European Temporary Leave to Remain (after a ‘No Deal’ Brexit) will enable EEA and Swiss citizens to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date it is granted. Given the temporary nature of this immigration arrangement, it is a non-extendable immigration status.
If EEA and Swiss citizens want to stay in the UK for more than 36 months, they will need to apply for an immigration status under the UK’s new immigration system, which will come into effect from 1 January 2021.
Close family members will need to apply for a family permit before accompanying or joining their EU relative in the UK.
Whilst this announcement will impact thousands of EEA and Swiss citizens in the event of ‘No Deal’, many more will not need to worry about applying for any new immigration status or visa so long as they do not intend to stay in the UK for more than three months.
Irish citizens will also not need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain. They’ll continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK under Common Travel Area arrangements.
Living in the UK before a ‘No Deal’ Brexit?
In the event of a ‘No Deal’, those EEA or Swiss citizens who entered the UK before Brexit should still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.
Furthermore, EEA or Swiss citizens who arrive in the UK after 29 March, but were previously living in the UK before 29 March, should also seek to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme rather than submitting an application via the European Temporary Leave to Remain route.
For further information, please our recent article.