In the midst of increasingly chaotic scenes in the UK’s parliament concerning a no deal Brexit, the Government (at the time of writing) has finally clarified what its position will be (if it is still in Government) in relation to EU citizens who arrive in the UK after the UK leaves the EU. This is currently set for Halloween.
This follows concerning comments made last week, attributed to the new Home Secretary, regarding no deal plans for EU citizens which we covered here.
The Government has published plans, in a document it refers as a ‘policy paper’, concerning ‘No deal immigration arrangements for EU citizens arriving after Brexit.’ This can be found here.
The document introduces a new route called European Temporary Leave to Remain, cleverly shortened to Euro TLR. This replaces the previous idea put forward by Theresa May’s Government, also called European Temporary Leave to Remain.
According to the information provided in the policy paper, applying under Euro TLR will be voluntary. Applications will also be simple and free.
Writing for Free Movement, Colin Yeo has provided the best description of the scheme that we have seen: ‘The Euro TLR scheme is perhaps the world’s first voluntary immigration scheme, where an application is not actually needed in order to live, work or study.’
EU citizens who move to the UK after 31 October 2019 and who intend to remain in the UK for some time would probably be wise to apply under the new scheme in order to be able to demonstrate that they are entitled to not only be in the UK, but to rent property, work, etc.
Time spent whilst holding Euro TLR should also count towards settlement when the new ‘Australian-style’ immigration system comes into force, expected to be in 2021. There may be some merit in delaying an application for Euro TLR until just before the new immigration system comes into force because doing so may enable the applicant to remain in the UK for some time before having to make an application under the new immigration system. The requirements of the new immigration system will almost certainly be tougher to meet than EU citizens have to date been used to.
Checks at the border
The policy paper stresses that in the event of a no deal Brexit, EU citizens will, on the whole, be able to enter the UK as they do now and will not face routine testing.
They will however be ‘subject to security checks, as now, but will face tougher UK rules on criminality and conduct committed after Brexit’.
EU citizens resident in the UK before Brexit in the event of a no deal
EU citizens living in the UK before the UK leaves the EU will be able to remain in the UK providing they apply under the EU Settled Status Scheme before 31 December 2020.
Immigration status checks
The Government has stressed that:
‘Employers, landlords and other third parties will not be required to distinguish between EU citizens who moved to the UK before or after Brexit until the new, points-based immigration system is introduced from January 2021.’
Brexit immigration support service: how we can assist
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.