You have probably heard on the news that we have apparently reached agreement in principal in relation to the likely position of EU workers after we leave the European Union. The Government has summarised the deal as follows:
- People who, by 29 March 2019, have been continuously and lawfully living here for 5 years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting ‘settled status’.
- People who arrive by 29 March 2019, but won’t have been living here lawfully for 5 years, will be able to apply to stay until they have reached the 5-year threshold. They can then apply for ‘settled status’.
- Family members who are living with, or join, EU citizens in the UK by 29 March 2019 will also be able to apply for ‘settled status’, usually after 5 years in the UK.
- Close family members (spouses, civil and unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents) will be able to join EU citizens after exit, where the relationship existed on 29 March 2019.
Similar rights will, in all likelihood, be extended to the citizens of Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland (albeit these countries are not technically part of the EU).
Importantly, reciprocal protections will be extended to UK citizens living and working in the rest of the EU.
No doubt, there will be further developments in this area before a final deal is struck. For all the latest information, keep your eye on the relevant Home Office webpage at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/status-of-eu-nationals-in-the-uk-what-you-need-to-know