Written by Alan Platt
Updated: 20 June 2017
On Monday 13 March, MPs voted to refuse to unilaterally protect the rights of EU nationals living in the United Kingdom.
The subsequent activation of Article 50 has left the position of European Union nationals both currently living in the UK and also those wishing to come to this country in the near future, unclear and seemingly open to debate. Yet these EU Nationals provide vital skills and services throughout all sectors of UK business and industry, so the current situation is understandably causing considerable concern and unease for them, their family members and their employers.
The UK Government has provided ‘veiled’ assurances to those EU nationals presently living in this country, indicating that providing they are properly exercising an EU Treaty Right (working, self-employed, studying, self-sufficient or job seeking), they will be allowed to remain in the United Kingdom once the Brexit negotiations commence, and their position will be clarified. Despite these assurances it is a very uncertain period for EU nationals, particularly because many have been exercising a legitimate EU Treaty right in this country for many years, but have never made application to the Home Office to register this fact.
We are presently advising our EU national clients and their family members to apply for Residence Documentation, or if they meet the five year residency period, for Permanent Residency to ensure they are on the Home Office ‘radar’. Whilst the Home Office will very likely provide the opportunity for EU nationals to register during a defined period after their position is made clearer, it makes sense to apply ahead of the final decision. This will avoid the anticipated rush and ensure when travelling that UK Border Force Officers at UK air and sea ports are easily able to establish those EU nationals recognised by the Home Office as exercising an EU Treaty right in the UK, via a Residence Document or Permanent Residency.
Our highly regarded immigration team is increasingly being called upon to help with Residency applications, both by individuals and their employers. We offer every level of support and assistance.
For an initial overview of your situation, please contact Alan Platt.
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