British government starts preparing for post-Brexit, starting with residency for EU citizens

unsplash-logoJohn Cameron

The British government has unveiled the steps EU citizens will have to follow to keep living inside the country post-Brexit.

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For the EU citizens who still want to live in the UK after June 2021 (6 months after the end of the transition period), the government has already unveiled the steps to follow to apply for residency. This concerns EU citizens and their families, who will have to apply for “settled status” via an online form, either via a website or an application on smartphones. The details are still being negotiated and have yet to be approved by the Parliament.

Irish citizens don’t need to apply but can if they wish to.

The scheme will be open by March 2019, and remain open during the next two years, with the deadline being the 30th June 2021.

The settled status means EU citizens will be able to continue living and working in the UK for as long as they like, and, de facto, have access to public services such as schools, public funds and pensions, and even British citizenship, if they meet the requirements.

To be eligible to this settled status, there is a set of conditions, such as being or be related to an EU citizen, have lived in the UK for 5 years and have started living there before the 31st December 2020. Those who have lived in the UK for less than 5 years can apply for a “pre-settled status” and once they reach the 5 years they can apply for the settled status. This “pre-settled status” will give them access to public funds and services the same way they already do.

The parents will have to apply on behalf of their child too, unless they have the British nationality.

As per usual, each citizen wishing to obtain the settled status will have to prove their identity and that they have lived in the country. Cases of citizens who have criminal convictions will be judged on a case-by-case basis, but only citizens with serious convictions should be worried. Parking fines and such do not count.

There’s a fee of £65 (around 73€) for people over 16, and £32.50 (around 36€) for those under 16. Under some conditions, it can be free. Meanwhile, in the rest of the EU, the joke being made about this fee is that each EU member-states should be charging the same amount to British citizens who wish to continue living in their countries after Brexit.

Once the application is made, the decision is given in less than two weeks, or so expect the authorities. Decisions can be appealed if the residence permit is denied.

The government expects around 3.5 million applications and are preparing to avoid being overwhelmed by the number of applicants. Meanwhile, the status of the close to one million British citizens living in other EU countries is still unknown, with Brexit negotiations not going very well.