As part of the UK Governments contingency planning for a “no deal” scenario, a new policy paper has been published setting out the proposed rights of EEA and Swiss nationals arriving in the UK after the 29th March 2019 if no deal is agreed with the EU.
It is proposed that between March 30th 2019 and 31 December 2020, EEA & Swiss nationals will be able to stay in the UK for up to 3 months without having to apply for an Immigration status. They will be automatically granted leave to enter by order, which will mean they can stay for up to three months and will be permitted to work and study, which will mean they can start those activities on arrival.
Those wishing to stay longer than 3 months will have to apply for a new status called European Temporary Leave to Remain. The application will an online application that will need to be made within 3 months of arriving in the UK. Applicants will have to prove their identity and declare any criminal convictions. Anyone considered a serious or persistent criminal threat will not be eligible to apply.
Those granted European Temporary Leave to Remain will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date of their application. It will be a temporary, non-extendable immigration status, and will not give rise to settlement rights. Non EEA family members will have to apply for a permit before accompanying them or joining them in the UK.
Irish Citizens will not need to apply for European Temporary leave to Remain, as they will continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK under Common Travel Area arrangements.
EU and Swiss nationals residing in the UK prior to 29th March 2019, will be able to apply for Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status when the scheme fully opens on 30th March 2019.
After January 2021, EEA and Swiss nationals will have to apply for status under the new Immigration system. Those who do not qualify will have to leave the UK when their European Temporary Leave to Remain expires.
At present, this remains a policy paper and would need to be ratified by Parliament to take effect. Should a deal with the EU be agreed before 29th March 2019, Free Movement rights will continue until 31 December 2020.
By Hesham Shoeb
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