Rights of EU citizens in the UK

The UK Government has made it clear how important it is that we secure as early as possible both the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in EU member states.

Rights and important information:

- EU citizens who have been continuously resident in the UK for five years will be allowed to stay indefinitely by obtaining ‘settled status’. This means, these citizens will be free to reside in any capacity, have access to public funds and services and apply for British citizenship.

- EU citizens who arrived before the cut-off date (29th March 2017) but haven’t been here for five years will be able to get permission to stay until they have accumulated five years, after which they will be able to apply for settled status.

- EU citizens who arrive after the cut-off date will be able to apply for permission to remain after the UK leaves the EU under the future immigration arrangements for EU citizens.

- Family dependants who are living with or join EU citizens before the UK’s exit will be able to apply for settled status after five years in the UK too. This is irrespective of the cut-off date.

There is no need to do anything now. The UK will remain a member of the EU until March 2019 and there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, during this time. Permanent residence status is linked to the UK’s membership of the EU and so will no longer be valid after we leave. EU citizens do not need to apply for documentation confirming their permanent residence status. EU citizens will be asked to make an application to the Home Office for a residence document demonstrating their new settled status. The process will be streamlined and user-friendly for all individuals, including those who already hold a permanent residence document under current free movement rules. The Home Office expects the new online application system to be up and running in 2018. There will be a grace period of up to two years to give EU citizens and their families sufficient time to make their application.

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