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Summary – Do Europeans need to leave the UK?

The result of ‘Brexit’ is that the UK will now make plans to leave the EU.  A lot of our laws and regulations are heavily mixed into and the process of separation is unlikely to be an easy one.  That said, a lot of campaigning around ‘Brexit’ had a strong immigration focus and as such it may be that changes to EU immigration laws may be a priority for the government.

For now, the law is the same, but this WILL change.   This will obviously impact many Europeans living in the UK and those who do not have permanent residency might have to leave.

What Europeans living in the UK should do about Brexit?

Our advice is that all EEA nationals who can make an application to remain here, should do so NOW.

EU nationals and their family members that have been in the UK for five years will, provided certain requirements are met, be in a position to apply for permanent residence.  This is likely to sure-up their position for the future.

We do not know the actions the government will take.  There may be transitional arrangements put in place that allow people who have already made applications under the regulations to continue to utilise them and because of this, we recommend EEA nationals making registration certificate applications to put them within the documentation process of the current regulations.

In short we recommend all European nationals and their family members making applications under the Regulations to put them in the safest position possible following the referendum result.

If you are a European national, or a family member of and European Citizen and you wish to make an application under the European Economic Area Regulations, then current Regulations still have effect.  The reason for this is that the Regulations which govern the right to remain of European nationals, form a part of national law.   The government would have to repeal these regulations in order for the right to remain of European nationals and their family members to be affected.

It is likely that these Regulations WILL be repealed.  The result of this is that anyone entitled to evidence of a right to remain under the EEA Regulations should apply immediately.

Documents you can apply for, if you are not sure which category you fall into, then please call our specialist Brexit lawyers today for more information.

Category 1

European Citizens who have been in the UK for more than five years.

Permanent Residence

EEA nationals and their family members can apply for permanent residence after five years of lawful residence in the UK.  This can include a period of leave in the past.  Lawful residence can include time spent as a worker, a self-employed person, a student, a retired person, a person that has stopped work due to an accident at work, a job seeker or a self-sufficient person.  Each of these categories requires a different set of documentation and we will advise you on the relevant documents for you.

Our fee for a permanent residence application is £1800 + VAT and we can guarantee a turnaround time of five working days from receipt of documents.  The Home Office fee is £65 and is a separate fee.

Call our specialist Brexit team who can start your case today and have it completed in five working days.

Category 2

EEA nationals who have been in the UK for more than six years. 

British Nationality

After six years lawful stay in the UK an EEA national can apply for naturalisation.  This time frame is reduced if you are married to a British national.

We recommend that persons entitled to British nationality as a result of their acquisition of permanent residence apply without delay.  European nationals remain entitled to British nationality after six years of lawful residence.  Once British nationality is obtained a person who is also a European national will be able to remain indefinitely in the UK regardless of the actions of the government.

Please note that on new applications to the Home Office, we will make clear that Brexit does not affect applications made under the Regulations. We essentially ensure that our EU national clients are given the best chance to obtain their status early.

Category 3

Europeans who have been in the UK for less than five years.

Registration Certificate

Any EEA national currently in the UK as a ‘Qualified Person’ that is someone working, self-employed, studying, self-sufficient or seeking work in the UK can apply for a registration certificate evidencing their right to reside in the UK.  We recommend European nationals not entitled to Permanent Residence make an application for a Registration Certificate.  This is the safest option available.  We cannot predict what the government will do in terms of repealing the EEA Regulations, however, it is possible that those that have utilised their right to obtain documentation under the EEA Regulations, may be in a better position than those that have not.

Our fee for applying for a Registration Certificate is £1000 + VAT and we can commit to a three working day turnaround from receipt of documents.   The Home Office fee is £65 and is a separate fee.

Residence Card

EEA nationals that have family members or extended family members in the UK should make an application for a residence card.  Again we cannot be sure how the Home Office will implement ‘brexit’ however family members entitled to remain in the UK under present Rules should exercise their right to documentation.

Our fee for applying for a Residence Card is £1800 + VAT and we can guarantee a turnaround time of five working days from receipt of documents.  The Home Office fee is £65 and is a separate fee.

Category 4

EU Citizens with applications at the Home Office

People who have made applications and are awaiting a decision are not currently affected.  The Regulations remain a part of law until such time as the government takes steps to repeal this law.  We do not yet know the impact on persons whose right to remain in the UK depends on this.

Westkin Associates


5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
United Kingdom
0207 118 4546

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