EU nationals could be permitted to exercise their full rights to live and work in the UK up to 2022. This is because the Members of EU parliament (MEPs) suggested a 3-year transition period after Brexit. The Brexit negotiations as we know it, could last until March 2019 (unless both sides decide to extend). This means EU nationals could have another five years where they can exercise fully their rights to live and work in the country.
The transition period is an implementation phase where businesses and governments are allowed adjust to new restrictions or regulations after the Brexit deal must have been concluded. The Prime Minster admitted when speaking to journalists during her Middle-East tour that there would be an implementation period once a deal has been agreed on future relationships. She also added that the UK would regain control of its border and immigration policy after the Brexit negotiations.
This could mean that if you are living in the UK and exercising your EU rights to live and work, you will continue to enjoy those freedoms until the end of the transition period. It also means that those intending to migrate to the UK can do so under existing conditions until the official Brexit day.
About 3million EU nationals currently live in the UK and most would like to know at what point within the next two years their future is decided. We cannot give a specific time because we do not know the agenda for the Brexit negotiations yet. Therefore, we might be finding out after Brexit deal is concluded.
The EU leaders and the UK seem to have different primary concerns in terms of the order of negotiations so far. Theresa May has constantly said that she wants to go through the negotiations as quickly as possible. She wants to reach an agreement on free trade, as this seems to be her primary concern. While the EU leaders want a guarantee on EU nationals' rights in the UK and would like to settle that as soon as possible.
The UK Prime Minster has also said that the rights of EU citizens in the UK will depend on how UK citizens in European states are treated. It will be based on reciprocity. However, a powerful Eastern European group known as the Visegrad Four (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic) are ready to veto any Brexit arrangement that limits peoples' right to work in the UK. The Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said that unless they felt a guarantee that their people are equal, they are ready veto any deal between the EU and UK.
It is important to note that not all the 3million people will be affected after Brexit, as some of the EU nationals already have right to stay in the UK. You can get a right to stay if you have been in the UK for five years. Also, children born in the UK to parents who have the right to stay would not be affected.
Therefore, if you have lived or worked in the UK for 5 years as a EU citizen or you will have by next year, you should start working towards getting your right to stay also known as Permanent Residency or Indefinite Leave to Remain ILR.
At Reiss Edwards, we have a team of well experience immigration lawyers with a high success rate in ILR applications. Please call us on 02037442797 or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org for a free quote on ILR applications and other immigration matters.