Three Million EEA Citizens Will Have To Apply For Settled Status To Stay In UK

EU Settled Status

Tens of thousands of EEA nationals who have applied for Permanent Residence Cards must apply again to confirm their residency status.

In a move that is likely to cause more stress, upset and resentment among EEA nationals living in the UK, Prime Minister, Theresa May announced today that those who filled in the complex 85-page form to secure an EU Permanent Residence Card will have to reapply for a ‘settled status’ identity card.

“Settled status” will allow EU citizens to stay if they have lived here for five years, securing rights on healthcare, education and benefits, broadly similar to those enjoyed by EU citizens in the UK currently.  It is essentially the same as Indefinite Leave to Remain status which is granted to non-EEA nationals after a certain period of time living in the UK.

However, the government will not transfer the residency rights granted by permanent residency status to the new system.

A positive situation?

Many EEA nationals, some of whom have lived in the UK since childhood, have spent months gathering supporting evidence and filling in the complex EU Permanent Residence Card application form to safeguard their right to remain in the UK after Brexit is secured.  Not only have they had to pay the £65 fee, many have spent hundreds of pounds on legal fees to ensure the application form was filled in correctly and the right documentation was included.

Although this new development will cause frustration to those who have already applied for an EU Permanent Residence Card, the government has promised that the new system will be streamlined, a relief to those currently struggling with the 85-page document.  In addition, the requirement for those not working to have comprehensive sickness insurance has also been removed.

Losing the right to bring a spouse to the UK

Following Brexit, EU nationals will lose the right to bring in a spouse or partner to live with them without meeting a minimum income threshold of £18,600, the threshold currently applied to non-EEA nationals who wish to sponsor a foreign spouse or partner. They may also lose the right to vote in local elections, but this is not specified in the 15-page Home Office policy paper.

What you can do

If you are an EEA national, please call us today to discuss obtaining ‘settled status’.  We can also advise you on obtaining British citizenship, if you meet the eligibility criteria.

OTS Solicitors is regarded as one of the best immigration law firms in the UK.  If you need advice on any immigration law matters, please phone our office on 0207 936 9960 to talk to one of our dedicated Immigration lawyers

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