No-Deal immigration arrangements after Brexit

5th September 2019

The Government has today set out their policy paper on immigration arrangements into the UK for EEA citizens and their family members in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

We welcome the Governments clarification following Priti Patel’s announcement previously that “freedom of movement will end” on 31 October in a no-deal scenario which caused panic and confusion within businesses.

EU citizens and their family members already resident in the UK by 23:00 on 31 October will remain unaffected and will have until 31 December 2020 by which to make an application under the EU settlement scheme. Also, Irish citizens’ rights are unaffected by these new arrangements.

After 31 October, freedom of movement as it currently stands will end. EEA citizens will still be able to enter the UK freely without a visa for visits or short trips. Those wishing to stay for longer will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR).

The applications will be simple, free and designed to mirror applications made under the EU Settlement Scheme. Applicants will receive a digital status for three years which will enable them to work and rent during the period.

At the end of the three year period, individuals will be required to apply under the UK’s new “Australian style” points based immigration system. Individuals who qualify for leave under the future immigration system in a route that leads to settlement, any time spent under Euro TLR will be able to accrue that time towards the qualifying period for settlement.

For now, border crossing arrangements will remain unchanged and EU citizens will be able to enter the UK using their passport or national identity card. They will be able to use eGates and will be subject to security checks and further criminality and conduct checks.

Employers will not be required to distinguish between EU citizens who arrived before and after Brexit. We therefore anticipate no change immediate change in Right to Work practices for employers.

This announcement will have provided some clarity for businesses with relocation of their workers and planning for the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact our team if you or your business require further assistance.