The government have released an official statement to say “There has been no change to the rights and status of EU nationals in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, as a result of the referendum”.

The UK currently remains a member of the EU with Article 50 not expected to be triggered until next year. Even once Article 50 is triggered; the UK will still remain part of the EU until the two-year negotiations have concluded.

The government have stated, “When we do leave the EU, we fully expect that the legal status of EU nationals living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in EU member states, will be properly protected”.

If you are a EU national that has lived in the UK for more than 5 years

  • EU nationals who have lived lawfully and continuously in the UK for at least 5 years will automatically have a permanent right to reside.
  • EU Nationals who have lived lawfully and continuously for at least 6 years are eligible to apply for British citizenship if they wish to. There has been no change in this position.

If you are a EU national that has lived in the UK for less than 5 years

  • EU Nationals continue to have a right to reside in the UK in accordance with EU law and do not need to register for any documentation in order to enjoy their free movement right and responsibilities.
  • Non-EU family member of EU nationals must continue to apply for a family permit if they wish to enter the UK under EU law, and they do not have a residence card issued by a member state. There has been no change to government policy or processes.
  • Extended family members of EU nationals must continue to apply for a registration certificate (if they are an EU national) or residence card (if they are non-EU national) if they wish to live in the UK. Again, there has been no change to government policy or processes.
  • Irish nationals enjoy separate rights, which allow Irish nationals residing in the UK to be treated in the same way as British nationals in most circumstances. There is no change to this position.
  • Croatian nationals may need to continue to need to apply for a registration certificate to be allowed to work in the UK under agreements put in place when Croatia joined the EU in 2013. There has been no change to government policy or processes.

Does the government plan to remove EU nationals from the UK?

“There has been no change to the right of EU nationals to reside in the UK and therefore no change to the circumstances in which someone could be removed from the UK.”

As was the case prior to the referendum, EU nationals can only be removed from the UK if they are considered to pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the public, if they are not lawfully a resident or are abusing their free movement rights.

Sources: gov.uk

By Helen Younger

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