Immigration and ending free movement

Immigration and ending free movement—no deal Brexit guidance

The Home Office has published the following guidance to help prepare for a no deal Brexit: EU immigration after free movement ends if there’s no deal. In this case, the UK will not be bound by the transitional arrangements set out in the draft Withdrawal Agreement. Instead, the government will seek to end free movement as soon as possible through mechanisms in the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill introduced to Parliament on 20 December 2018. The Bill, once enacted, will repeal the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, which currently implement free movement in UK law.

The guidance covers: A time-limited transitional immigration arrangement for EU citizens arriving in the UK after the end of free movement, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. It is not applicable to EU citizens who reside in the UK before exit day, who will have until 31 December 2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to protect their status. Under the arrangements, EU citizens will be able to enter the UK as they can now and stay for up to three months.

Until 31 December 2020, EU citizens will be able to enter the UK by showing either a valid national identity card or passport. EU citizens who wish to stay longer than three months will need to apply for non-extendable temporary leave to remain within three months of arrival. A condition not required under the EU Regulations.  Subject to identity, criminality and security checks, leave to remain will be granted for 36 months, including permission to work and study. When assessing criminality, EU citizens will be subject to a lower threshold ‘conducive to public good’ as opposed to a ‘genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat’ under the EU Regulations. Initial leave to enter for EU citizens will be free of charge, but otherwise application fees will be payable. No fee-paid application is currently required under the EU Regulations for EU citizens intending to reside in the UK for more than three months.

The proposals will also be applicable for citizens of EFTA states (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) arriving on or after 30 March 2019. Irish citizens will continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK under domestic Common Travel Area arrangements. The proposals are subject to parliamentary approval and implementing legislation, including passage of the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, which is being tracked here: Brexit legislation tracker.

Additional guidance includes: European Temporary Leave to Remain in the UK, which provides guidance for EEA citizens coming to the UK to visit, study, work or join family if the UK leaves the EU with no Brexit deal. In a no deal scenario, EEA citizens will be able to enter the UK as they do now (for an interim period), but until the UK’s new skills-based immigration system begins in 2021, they will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain if they wish to stay longer than three months.

Source LexisNexis

Source: Press release: Government outlines no deal arrangements for EU citizens

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