EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU have more certainty about their future following an agreement on citizens’ rights between the UK and the EU Commission.
EU citizens living lawfully in the UK and UK nationals living lawfully in the EU by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay and enjoy broadly the same rights and benefits as they do now.
The agreement includes that:
- Close family members will be able to join after the UK has left the EU. This includes spouses, unmarried partners, children, grandchildren, dependent parents and grandparents. Children born or adopted outside of the UK after the 29 March 2019 will also be covered.
- People will be able to be absent from the UK for up to five years without losing settled status, more than double the level of absence allowed under current EU law. There will be the same reciprocal protection for UK nationals living in the EU.
- Professional qualifications (e.g. doctors and architects) will continue to be recognised where these are obtained before the date of the UK’s departure from the EU.
- It will be easy to apply for settled status and there will be a full right of appeal.
- Those EU citizens who already hold a valid Permanent Residence document will be able to have their status converted to settled status free of charge.
This agreement also provides certainty on healthcare, pensions and other benefits. It will mean that EU citizens who have paid into the UK system can benefit from what they’ve already put in and continue to benefit from existing coordination rules for future contributions. Those covered by the agreement will be able to continue to receive healthcare as they do now.
There will be a transparent, smooth and streamlined process to enable EU citizens to apply for settled status starting in the latter half of next year for two years after the UK leaves the EU – from 2018 to 2021.
You can read more about settled status and citizens’ rights here. Applications for Settled Status will open officially from 30th March 2019, it will be much simpler and quicker than applying for Permanent Residence, so EU citizens should apply for Settled status until 31st December 2020.
In the event of a ‘no deal’ Settled status will still be implemented and information above should be followed.
This page will be kept up to date with the latest information: Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know.