Brexit is going to happen. Boris Johnson has promised to the British public to take the United Kingdom out of the European by the end of January 2020, whilst the exact date is still up for debate, as there are concerns over the deal which will be struck, Brexit is going to happen.
How will Brexit impact immigration?
With Britain leaving the EU, freedom of movement with the EU will also end, thus putting the over 3 million EU nationals residing in the UK at risk of enforced disappearance.
The Tory landslide in the December 2019 election, has led to a drastic escalation in the number of EU applications for the EU Settlement Scheme as EU nationals residing in the UK are keen to secure their status.
The government has assured the public that there will be a robust process to deal with these applications which will only take days, but many applicants have been forced to wait months due to prolonged delays.
This delay has led to cases of EU nationals being unable to open bank accounts, rent property, or get jobs. This is because the uncertainty and confusion over the system have led banks, landlords and employers to feel uneasy as to how they should conduct their business. The government must provide clarity on these issues and take immediate action to reassure banks, landlords and employers of EEA nationals rights.
How to secure your status?
EU nationals wishing to continue residing in the UK must secure their status by the end of December 2020 when the transitional period will end, and free movement will stop.
The government has stated that they will be rolling out the European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro TLR) which will grant EU citizens in the UK three years (36 months) further leave.
In order for EU nationals to be eligible for settled status in the UK, they must secure 5 years of continuous residence in the UK.
Is it worth becoming a British citizen?
Once you have held settled status for over a year, you will be eligible to apply for naturalisation, which will lead to British citizenship.
You will also need to show sufficient proficiency in the English language and be able to pass the ‘Life in the UK’ test.
This test can be quite difficult as it consists of questions of British culture, history, politics, sports and royalty. It has even been shown that most British people cannot pass the test without previously studying for it!
Securing British citizenship is useful as it will free you from all immigration controls. Currently, if you hold settled status, you will be able to reside in the UK indefinitely; however, you may lose this status if you stay out of the UK for over 5 years.
What may prevent you from naturalising?
One thing you will need to be wary of is the “Good character” requirement. This examines any issues in your immigration history as well as any criminal records.
If it is deemed in the public interest, the Home Office may deny settled status to an applicant, and they are also permitted to deport those who are deemed to be opposed to Britain’s public interest.
Westkin Associates has a successful track record of appealing decisions by the Home Office and is one of the few firms permitted to undertake a judicial review which can result in a successful application by highlighting mistakes by the Home Office.
Hundreds of successful EEA cases
Westkin Associates has successfully helped hundreds of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals to secure their status.