With the UK due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, there are a number of steps that employers can take to help their EEA employees understand the options available to them.
The Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme has been open to applications from a wider group of people since the public testing phase commenced on 21 January 2019. In our experience, the majority of applications are being dealt with by the Home Office in an efficient manner.
With concern increasing at the risk of the UK leaving the EU without an agreement, many employers are starting to consider how they can assist their EEA staff to help them to understand the immigration options that are available to them and their families.
There are various scenarios that need to be considered:
- A deal is reached – if the UK reaches an agreement with the EU along the lines set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, EEA nationals who are resident in the UK by December 2020 will need to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme by June 2021.
- A no-deal scenario – if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, EEA nationals who were resident in the UK by the date the UK left the EU would have to make an application by December 2020. New rules would come into force for EEA nationals who moved to the UK after Brexit but before the new immigration system comes into effect, from January 2021.
Our immigration team have been visiting employers around the UK for many months, helping them support their EEA staff in preparing for Brexit. This has included assistance on a one-on-one basis to employees who are ready to file their applications via the EU Settlement Scheme application process.
We offer the following range of services to employers that are designed to enable them to offer enhanced support to their EEA employees and their HR teams:
- presentations to EEA employees to explain the EU Settlement Scheme and other options available, including how to apply to naturalise as a British citizen;
- one-on-one sessions in person or via video conferencing to provide personal support to employees;
- EU Settlement Scheme application filing sessions where our team will use our technology to enable employees to submit their applications;
- preparation of other applications for EEA staff and their family members such as applications for permanent residence documents and to naturalise as a British citizen;
- bespoke training for HR teams;
- advice on conducting compliant right to work checks;
- discounted rates to employees and further immigration law advice and assistance as required.
We have designed a flexible fixed fee structure which is tailored to the specific services the employer requires. If you would like to discuss your requirements or would like further information about our services and fees, please contact us.
You can find our up to date Brexit immigration analysis here.