Following the progress made in the negotiations between the UK and the EU on withdrawal, a joint technical note has been published which reflects the positions of both parties on the future rights of EEA nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EEA.
12 points in the document worth noting:
- The specified date is the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (11pm on the 29th March 2019). Because no earlier specified date has been set, this means that EU nationals and their family members will retain their rights up until this point, where previously it had been thought that an earlier specified date could be set that would affect recent arrivals to the UK.
- Family members of EU nationals are defined as so as long as they are related to the EU national on the date of withdrawal. This means that those EEA nationals who are resident in the UK at the date of withdrawal, and who are married to a non-EEA national at the time of withdrawal,will not have to meet the UK immigration rules to bring those family members to the UK after this date. Crucially this will also apply to other family members in the line such as parents and grandparents. It will not apply to those in a ‘durable relationship’, ie unmarried partners.
- Children born or adopted after the withdrawal date, where both parents are protected by the agreement or one is protected and the other is a UK national, or where the child is born to or adopted by a protected person who has sole or joint custody, will become a protected person.
- Family members with a retained right of residence on the relevant date will keep it providing they qualify as per Article 12 and 13 following the death of their partner or a divorce.
- Retired people will still be eligible as per Articles 17 and 18.
- It will now take an absence of FIVE years to lose PR/settled status, rather than two years as it is now.
- The criminality requirement (with regards to crimes committed before the specified date) will not be brought into line with the Immigration Rules as they stand for non-EEA nationals, but will still be based on the directive.
- Rights are protected for life!
- A minimum of two years must be allowed for people to apply for any documents to reflect their status.
- The process will be simple, streamlined, straight-forward.
- Those who already have a PR certificate will have this converted to the new status free of charge.
- Those who have ILR will also have this opportunity, though it is not clear if this will be mandatory.
There are still details which need to be worked out but now that this agreement has been reached it is hoped that the next stages will be simpler as much of the policy can now be worked out internally without the need for agreement from EU27.