31 october 2019:
Are you ready for
no deal?

There are 72 days to go until the UK leaves the EU, with or without a Deal. Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, to sign a ‘commencement order’ that will start proceedings to repeal EU law.

Johnson has promised that ‘do or die’ the UK will leave on October 31st this year.

Meanwhile, opposition parties are considering forming a Anti-No Deal coalition of MPs led by Harriet Harman and Kenneth Clarke, the Mother and Father of the House of Commons; and there has also been a proposal for a ‘unity’ government with Jeremy Corbyn as caretaker PM to oppose a No-Deal exit. But neither of these options is likely to win a vote of confidence.

Here, we examine the ‘no-deal’ transitional immigration arrangements published by the government on the 28th January 2019 and still listed on their website

The end of free movement

Once free movement has ended, EU citizens and their family members arriving in the UK will be admitted under UK immigration rules.  However, it is important to note that, the .gov website still currently points to a transitional period being in place until 31 December 2020.

Visiting the UK 

For the vast majority of EU citizens just seeking to visit the UK they should detect no obvious change when entering the UK after 31st October 2019.  ‘EU citizens coming for short visits will be able to enter the UK as they can now, and stay for up to three months from each entry’ says the UK Visas and Immigration Policy paper.

Staying in the UK for more than three months 

For those EU nationals seeking to remain in the UK for longer than three months, they will be able to apply to the Home Office for permission to stay for up to 36 months. This approval includes the right to work and study in the UK.

Currently labelled as European Temporary Leave to Remain, the ‘temporary’ nature of this approval means those EU nationals seeking to remain for more than 3 years in the UK will be invited to apply under the UK’s future border and immigration system – once defined.

Currently residing in the UK? 

With uncertainty and confusion probably being the only guaranteed constants to play out over the next two months, we strongly recommend those EU citizens eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme do so ahead of the current leave date.

By applying before 31st October 2019, they will be able to stay one step ahead of any ensuing chaos and ensure their UK residency status is verified by the UK authorities and recorded on their on-line portal. This system should enable UK employers (as well as quizzical UK immigration officers) to substantiate their UK residency status in the future.

Smith Stone Walters: here to help 

To assist those EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members in applying under the EU Settlement Scheme, Smith Stone Walters has created this helpful video.

For those employers seeking to support their EU population, we have also created a secure software platform that provides each business with a real-time overview of the current progress made by your EU staff towards settled status.

If you would like a demonstration of the EU tracker, or to discuss any other aspects of our services, then please contact us.

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