I would like information about how to stay in the UK
In its opening negotiations on leaving the EU, the UK government proposed that from sometime in 2018 EU nationals who wish to remain in the UK will have to apply for a new residence status, that of 'settled EU national'. The 'offer' states that there will be a two-year transition period after the UK leaves the EU for people to apply for this document. Any EU national residing in the UK without successfully obtaining settled status by March 2021 would be committing a criminal act (and could be deported). The UK government also said that EU nationals who thought they had regulated their stay by obtaining permanent residence documents had wasted their time. According to the UK proposal, these will not be valid from March 2019 and EU nationals will have to apply again. This proposal may well change in negotiations and under pressure from other EU member states. However, it leaves uncertainty among EU nationals in the UK as to their residence rights as nothing will probably be definite until 2018. The British government has suggested that EU nationals sign up for email alerts.
There are a few instances where EU nationals would benefit greatly from getting the soon-to-be old permanent residence document, and many EU nationals are not aware of the necessity of doing this now. These cases are:
- for EU nationals who would like to get British citizenship;
- for EU nationals' children who were born in the UK (most EU nationals are not aware of how this benefits their children and that the children could be British nationals by birth - so long as the parents have acquired the permanent residence document);
- for EU citizens who by law have already acquired permanent residence but who have not been living in the UK continuously; and
- most importantly, if someone wants to make an application for a dependent, such as an elderly parent or a spouse, to enter or remain in the UK, it is imperative that they do this now rather than later - bringing a dependent after the UK leaves the EU may be very difficult.
For these four situations, permanent residence can be applied for as follows. If you have been living in the UK working or self-employed for more than five years you can apply for a document certifying that you have permanent residence. You can also obtain this document as a family member of a person who has worked or has been self-employed in the UK for more than five years. Here is the link to download the application form for a permanent residence document.
Cost is £65 for each application. The Home Office started a simpler online system from February 2017.
Here is a podcast to listen to that discusses this further: