EU citizens safeguarding your future in Oxfordshire and the UK – published 21 November 2019

On 12th December the UK will have elected a prime minister. But deal, no deal or referendum, until we’re clearer that we’re leaving on 31st January 2020 and under what conditions, if you have not already done so, EU citizens should prepare for a worst case ‘no deal’ scenario by applying for pre-settled and settled status or, should they qualify, British Nationality, and by 31st December 2020 latest. After December next year and should we leave with no deal, those yet to apply will need to go through the ‘Euro Leave to Remain’ process which is capped at three years maximum. Any further application will need to be satisfied under the UK immigration rules at the time. Employers should direct workers to the EU Settlement Scheme process early to allow for delays in approvals as the Home Office will be flooded with applications ahead of the deadline. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-september-2019

It will also give the workforce a sense of security, but the process does come with a number of obstacles. Firstly, each applicant must hold a valid passport, national ID card or for non-EEA dependants, a valid Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Secondly, to start the application process the migrant must download the Home Office app (newer Apple devices from iPhone 7 onwards can now be used) or find a location where their identity document can be scanned. Thirdly, those holding EEA Permanent Residence (blue card) will still need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme unless they have obtained British Nationality prior to 31st December 2020 (in a no deal scenario).

Under a no deal, applicants will have to be living in the UK before the country exits on 31 January 2020 to qualify under the EU settlement scheme.

And finally, National ID cards will also be phased out in the UK as a method of travel to the UK. So, EU citizens, ensure to check that your passports are valid.