EU citizens who work in your business may have a little clearer idea on their likely status post-Brexit.

Theresa May has set out her proposals that qualifying EU citizens will be able to apply for settled status if they have lived in the UK for 5 years or more after a specified date.

So what does it seem that this will mean in practice?

At that date (once it is confirmed – it is likely to be a date anytime between 29 March 2017 when Article 50 was triggered and the formal date of Brexit sometime in 2019):

  • those who have lived here for 5 years or more will be able to apply for settled status
  • there will be a grace period of two years from that date for those already living in the UK so that people are not left uncertain of their status whilst the huge volume of applications are dealt with – in that grace period there will be a “generic umbrella of temporary leave applying to all existing lawful EU residents and their families”
  • those EU citizens who are resident in the UK on that date but have not been here for 5 years will be able to apply for temporary residence status so that they can remain here long enough to apply for the settled status – during this period they will continue to have the same workers’ rights and benefits as they currently do

Once the settled status of any individual whose residence in the UK started before the specified date is confirmed, they will have no immigration conditions placed upon them providing they remain resident in the UK.

This does not impact the Common Travel Area arrangements between the UK and Ireland, which means that Irish citizens in the UK will not have to apply for settled status.

If you have any questions take a look at the full proposal document which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-the-position-of-eu-citizens-in-the-uk-and-uk-nationals-in-the-eu/the-united-kingdoms-exit-from-the-european-union-safeguarding-the-position-of-eu-citizens-living-in-the-uk-and-uk-nationals-living-in-the-eu

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