The UK government has reached an agreement with the European Union on citizens’ rights in negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. This will provide certainty about the future to millions of EU citizens and their families in the UK. Most importantly, it will allow then to stay after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, and to continue to access public funds and services.
There is no need for EU citizens living in the UK to do anything now. There will be no change to the status of EU citizens living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU.
The government expects that the offer will be extended to resident citizens of Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland living in the UK. As the rights of British and Irish citizens in each other’s country are rooted in the Ireland Act 1949, Irish citizens won’t need to apply for settled status.
People who, by 29 March 2019, have been continuously and lawfully living here for 5 years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting settled status. That means they will be free to live here, have access to public funds and services and go on to apply for British citizenship.
People who arrive by 29 March 2019, but won’t have been living here lawfully for 5 years when the UK leaves the EU, will be able to apply to stay until they have reached the 5-year threshold. They can then also apply for settled status.
Family members who are living with, or join, EU citizens in the UK by 29 March 2019 will also be able to apply for settled status, usually after 5 years in the UK.
Close family members (spouses, civil and unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents) will be able to join EU citizens after exit, where the relationship existed on 29 March 2019.
EU citizens with settled status or temporary permission to stay will have the same access as they currently do to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK.
It sounds simple but in the small print are lots of rules and regulations that make the transition from EU citizen to UK one far more complex than the simple deal above suggests. Roughly translated it means" The deal applies unless we decide we do not like you."