Following our previous update on 14 March, the UK has conceded further ground on EU migrants’ residency rights during the Brexit transition period.
On 28 February 2018, The Home Office had published a policy statement on the rights of EU nationals arriving in the UK during the transition period, which outlined the different, less favourable treatment of their non-EU family members arriving in the UK, following the end of the transition period. However, the UK government has now conceded this point during further negotiations on the withdrawal agreement with the EU. The latest position is set out in the draft Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU dated 19 March 2018, published by the European Commission.
The new position is that all EU citizens arriving in the UK before the end of the transition period (which is now confirmed as 31 December 2020) will be treated in the same way as those arriving before the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2018. They will have until 30 June 2021 to apply for a temporary status document and will be eligible to apply for settled status after 5 years. They will be able to bring any existing non-EU family members to the UK under EU family reunion provisions.
By way of an example, if an EU national arrives to work in the UK in January 2020 (during the transition period), they will need to apply for a temporary status document for up to 5 years, after which time they will be able to apply for settled status. If they subsequently wish to bring an aged parent to the UK in April 2021 (following the end of the transition period), they will be able to do so under the EU provisions for family reunion.