European citizens’ right to reside in the UK, post Brexitadam
For European citizens to navigate the complexities of Brexit the Government has created a page on the Gov.uk website.
The “Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families” section states: “If you’re a European Union (EU) citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to get either settled or pre-settled status. This will mean you can continue living in the UK after December 31, 2020.”
The UK Government is working with the European Union regards European citizens’ rights and on March 19 published the Draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community.
The Draft Agreement confirms, in principle, that the UK Government has agreed European citizens and their family members arriving during the transition period, from March 30, 2019 to December 31, 2020, will be able to stay on the same terms. They will need to register their right to reside in the UK.
The person will have to prove they are exercising European Treaty rights as a ‘qualified person’ at the point of application. To be a qualified person you must be employed, self-employed, a student with comprehensive medical insurance, self-sufficient with comprehensive medical insurance or a family member of the qualified person.
A further caveat to any individual making an application to the Home Office is that the applicant must be ‘lawfully resident’ in the UK at the point of application. If an individual has resided in the UK but is not working or unable to exercise Treaty rights for more than a 91 days and is unable to provide an explanation as to why for example; vocational training, maternity leave or temporarily leave because of illness or accident, this individual may not be considered lawfully resident in the UK.
- Individuals who, by December 31, 2020, have been continuously and lawfully resident living in the UK for five years will be able to apply for `settled status’. That means they will have the right to reside in the UK, have access to public funds and services, and go on to apply for British citizenship, if they choose to do so
- Individuals who arrive by December 31, 2020, but won’t have been lawfully resident in the UK for five years when we leave the EU, will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled status’ to stay until they have reached the full five year period. They will be able to apply for settled status once they have completed five years of lawful residence in the UK
- Family members who are living with, or join, European citizens in the UK by December 31, 2020 will also be able to apply for settled status, once they have completed five years of lawful residence in the UK
- Close family members (spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents) will be able to join their European family members at the end of the transition period, where the relationship existed before December 31, 2020 however, in certain circumstances, they must provide evidence of their dependency on the qualified person.
The deadline for applying for settled status will be June 30, 2021. From this date, it will be mandatory to hold settled status or a pre-settled status in the UK as a qualified person or the family member of the qualified person.
The rules concerning European migration are supposed to be interpreted by the Home Office with flexibility, as not every individuals’ circumstances are the same in relation to exercising Treaty Rights in the UK. We would advise individuals wishing to make an application to the Home Office to seek legal advice in order to confirm the chances of success, prior to making an application.
 Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-the-functioning-of-the-european-union-and-comments/part-3-union-policies-and-internal-actions/title-iv-free-movement-of-persons-services-and-capital/chapter-1-workers/187-article-45.html
 Ibid. 2. Page 12 – 16. Article 17 ‘Issuance of Residence Documents’.