For the first time in decades, the government has inserted provisions for EU nationals to apply for leave to remain in the UK under domestic immigration law. Appendix EU was added to the Immigration Rules on 28th August 2018 and lays out the requirements for EU nationals to apply for status in the UK following the country’s departure from the EU.
However, the full application process is not open just yet. The new provisions are being tested in a pilot scheme in hospitals and universities in the North West of England. For now, Appendix EU is a glimpse into a post-Brexit future for EU nationals and their family members wishing to reside in the UK.
Appendix EU provides for EU citizens to be granted ‘settled status’, also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in the language of the Immigration Act 1971. Indefinite Leave to Remain is open to EU nationals who have been resident in the United Kingdom for continuous period of five years. This can also extend to family members of EU nationals.
The period of five years must begin before 23:59 GMT on December 31st 2020. ‘Continuous’ generally means no periods of absence from the UK for longer than six months in total during any twelve month period.
EU citizens who have not completed a continuous qualifying period of five years may be eligible for limited leave to remain. Policy documents released by the Home Office optimistically refer to this as ‘pre-settled status’. However, in order to meet the requirements for limited leave to remain, the EU citizen must be in a family relationship with a British national. They would need to demonstrate that they are either: a family member of a British citizen (as defined by regulations 9.–(1)-(6) of the EEA Regulations 2016); or a child under the age of 21 years of the spouse or civil partner of the British citizen being granted limited leave to remain under Appendix EU.
The Home Office’s ‘Statement of Intent’ published on 21st June 2018, states that an applicant will need to pay an application fee of £65.00 for settled status, the same as the current fee for a permanent residence document. For children under the age of 16 the fee will be £32.50.
Kings Cross Barristers will be hosting a free seminar titled ‘Immigration Law and Human Rights After Brexit’ on 15th November 2018. If you would like to learn more about Appendix EU and its implications for EU nationals in the UK please register your attendance here.