The updated guidance on the status of EEA nationals after Brexit was published on 16 March 2018.

The guidance confirms the rights of EEA nationals during the transition period and confirms that there is no need for EU citizens living in the UK to do anything now. 

The agreement currently suggested provides that:

  • EEA nationals who, by 29 March 2019, have been continuously and lawfully living in the UK for five 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
  • EEA nationals who arrive by 29 March 2019, but won’t have been living here lawfully for five years when we leave the EU, will be able to apply to stay until they have reached the five-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 five 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.

At present the UKVI have not defined what constitutes ‘living here lawfully’ exactly means, but we will provide updates as and when further information becomes available.

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