Latest on the EU Settlement Scheme

Posted 21/12/2018 : By: Jessica Piper

There are now plenty of businesses preparing for Brexit, despite no-one still being quite sure what the final deal will look like. With this grows concern over the many staff members businesses have that are citizens of another EU country.

Right now, the most significant thing to note is that nothing will change in terms of the rights of EU nationals on “Brexit day” and there are plans for a transition period. Until the end of the transition period, EU citizens will still be able to use their passport as proof of right to work in the UK.

As you may be aware, the new system that has been set up for nationals of EU countries that are not UK or Irish citizens, or do not have indefinite leave to remain, is called the EU Settlement Scheme. It will be fully open by 30 March 2019 and is currently being tested.

Current EU nationals will need to apply for settled or pre-settled status by 30 June 2021 to enable them to remain in the UK beyond 31 December 2020. rights for citizens from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are still being negotiated.

The most recent information given by the Home Office confirms that in the event of a no deal Brexit the EU Settlement Scheme will still be implemented, so the transition period will still take place and EU nationals and their family members living in the UK by 29 March 2019 will still be able to work, study and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as they currently do. However, there will be some changes to the EU Settlement Scheme in the event of no deal, and in particular the application deadline would be brought forward to 31 December 2020 (i.e. no grace period). The Home Office has also confirmed that through the EU Settlement Scheme, they will look to grant status rather than refuse.

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