If you are looking to put down permanent roots in the UK and have the right eligibility then the EEA Registration Certificate is the ideal route for staying in the UK in order to live and work. In this article, we will look at the EEA Registration Certificate processing time, and look at the process of registering your EEA status in a little more detail. We will also look at the future of the scheme and what may replace it once Britain leaves the European Union.
The EEA Registration Certificate was created so that extended family members of "qualified" persons could apply for leave to remain in the UK. The certificate is only required in this circumstance as the "qualified" person themselves does not actually require a certificate to prove their eligibility to remain in the UK.
The scheme has proved very popular and has been a very useful addition to the rights of those EEA citizens who would like to bring their extended family members to the UK to live and work. In many cases these extended family members would not have had an option to move to the UK and the certificate changed that.
A "qualified" person is a citizen of an EEA member country (or Switzerland) and one of the following:
As long as you fit the bill above then you yourself do not need a registration certificate but you are entitled to add an extended family member on to your application so that they may receive an EEA Registration Certificate that grants them leave to remain in the UK (for the time being). Please bear in mind that this will only be the case until the UK leaves the European Union. There are plans to replace the scheme so that the effect is minimal on those who already live in the UK, but at this point we do not know what the new scheme will entail.
The "qualified" person will need to add you to their application. The application will need to be made online, but please be aware that there are some circumstances such as those laid out below that mean you may not be able to use this service:
In this case if the application cannot be made online then a form will need to be downloaded and an application made to UKVI. The fee (£65) will need to be paid at the time of application. You can also make a Premium application at an appropriate center, details for this service are available at gov.uk. You should, as with most UKVI applications, expect to wait at least 8 weeks before contacting them. They are extremely busy currently and it can take several months for an application to be processed.
Currently it is planned that the EEA Registration Certificate scheme will be curtailed once Britain leaves the European Union. There are plans to replace schemes that are currently in place for EEA citizens, but so far these have not been announced.
It is likely that although there are plans to assist EEA citizens in the future, there is so little that is known about the UK's immigration future after Brexit that posting any sort of information would be potentially catastrophic and hence they have chosen not to do so at this point in time. The only thing that we know for sure at this stage is that the scheme will be removed and current certificates will become invalid.
At this stage we do not know what the future will be for those on this certificate scheme. We would certainly guess that the Government will not deport those currently on the scheme due to the potential chaos that would ensue. But please do not take that as a fact, the current British government has shown an extreme willingness to remove people from the country, no matter how long they have lived here.
With all this in mind, it may now be an ideal time, if you can, to settle your immigration status in the UK. At this point we would urge you to get in touch with our immigration specialists to see if you have any eligibility criteria that would allow you to remain in the UK no matter what happens to the EEA Registration Certificate scheme.
As stated above, it is impossible at this stage to guess at what provisions will be made for EEA citizens in the UK once freedom of movement has come to an end. At the moment this would be in 2020. Much of the UK's future with Europe is in the air, it is unknown at this point at which date freedom of movement will actually end. With this in mind it would be almost impossible to predict what will replace current programmes once Britain leaves the European Union.
If you are concerned at your future in the UK then please get in touch. Our Immigration specialists are only ever a phone call away and could make a whole world of difference to your Immigration status. So don't panic - get in touch. While we cannot promise to rectify every situation, we will promise that we will do our best to.
If you need help with an EEA Registration Certificate enquiry then please, our immigration solicitors are experts in their field and can help to settle your situation. Indeed even if you have a different immigration query, please still get in touch and we will be able to help.