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With Brexit on the horizon, many European citizens living in the UK may be wondering about what they need to do in order to remain in the UK. The guidance thus far from the British government has been hardly clear or concise on the matter. The rapid introduction of the Settled Status option and consequent dropping of the application fee is indicative of a government that seems to be struggling to produce a coherent plan. So in this article we are going to try and settle some myths and offer some guidance for those EU citizens who are currently puzzled about what is going to happen next. We will tell you what you need in order to remain in the UK, and even look at the option of taking on British citizenship if that is something that may interest you.
Ok so this is where things might get a little complicated. As the UK currently has no deal in place with the EU after the end of March 2019, all EU citizens will essentially lose their automatic right to stay in the UK. This is the reason for the introduction of the Settled Status. The status allows EU citizens to register themselves in the UK and maintain their rights to come and go as they please - a key tenet of freedom of movement. So do you have to apply for Settled Status? Theoretically yes. In reality it is likely that there will be an agreement that allows EU citizens to remain in the UK regardless, but it may be beneficial to apply for the status in order to ensure your security in the country for the long-term.
Settled Status gives EU citizens currently residing in the UK the option to register with the government so that they can remain in the UK. This is a government initiative that has been widely criticised due to British citizens living abroad not being required to do the same in order to keep their rights. Originally the scheme came with an application fee, but this has since been dropped due to the poor reception to charging people to remain in the country that they reside in. The scheme is currently in the test phase before being rolled out in full at the end of March which coincides with Britain's exit from the union.
In order to apply during the test phase, you will need an Android phone in order to capture your information on an app. You will also need to pay the fee of £65 that will be refunded once the programme has been fully rolled out. This will allow you to have your status settled early and not have to worry about long delays once the vast number of EU citizens currently residing in the UK begin to use the service. If you have the time and the money, now might be the most prudent time to sort out your status in the UK.
No you will not need a permanent resident document to remain in the UK as an EU citizen after Brexit. There are however some situations in which gaining a permanent resident document may be very beneficial to your cause. For instance, if you want to apply to become a British citizen, as an EU citizen you will need to gain permanent residence in order to do so. Certainly if you plan on remaining in the UK for the long-term, British citizenship may be the ideal vehicle to make this happen. You will need to check with your country of origin, but often you can hold dual nationality. Britain is a country that allows this so you will need to ensure that your country of origin does also. The benefits of dual nationality can be very useful and should certainly be considered if you have the option.
You become entitled to permanent residence in the UK as an EU citizen after 5 years. In certain circumstances this can be reduced. You will need to make an application to gain a permanent residence document and once you have had this status for 1 year, you will then be eligible to apply for British citizenship. You will still need to meet the eligibility criteria, but this should be straightforward due to your time in the country.
Yes you can apply for British citizenship as an EU citizen. You will first need to apply for a permanent residence document by following the steps laid out in the section above. Once you have gained permanent residence, you will need to wait another 12 months before being able to apply for British citizenship. This is the same process that applies to those who have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after staying in the UK on a visa. This is an ideal way of cementing your future in the UK. Also, depending on the your country of origin, you may also be able to have dual nationality. For many EU citizens, this will mean keeping hold of their EU freedom of movement rights if they want to relocate later on. Britain is a country that allows dual nationality, so it will depend upon your country of origin as to whether you can have dual nationality.
If you need more help cementing your status in the UK as EU citizen then please get in touch. Our immigration specialists are working around the clock to ensure that those who want to stay in the UK are able to. So call today and take advantage of our knowledge and expertise to maintain your stay in the UK for the long-term.
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I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
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