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European immigrants in the UK: questions and answers about Brexit

The fact that a start date has not been decided on for Brexit and the atmosphere surrounding this decision worries many Europeans  who currently live in the United Kingdom. A collective effort seeks to respond to their main concerns.

 

 There are many doubts among immigrants that have arisen from the uncertain situation surrounding the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

And the Europeans, who have been seen as immigrants to this island for a year, want to know, not only when this exit will happen with certainty, but also about aspects related to their work, residency and families, among others.

The Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation (IRMO) has thought about this and undertook the task of compiling the most frequent questions that are usually asked today by European immigrants, be they Latin Americans with nationality of any country on this continent, or native Europeans.

The Prisma is presenting these questions and their corresponding answers in what IRMO has called “Brexit information for European citizens and their families“.

What is Brexit?

Brexit is the expression used to refer to the departure of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). Because of this, all EU citizens will have to apply for a permit to stay in the UK.

What will happen if there is no deal?

I live in the UK, will they throw us out?

No, but it will be necessary to apply for what is known as indefinite or pre-indefinite status before 31st December 2020.

If you do not apply, you will be in the country illegally.

How long do I have to apply for this status?

Until 31st December 2020.

Will I be able to bring over my non-European relatives after Brexit?

Yes, as long as  you can prove that they were married to or dependent(s) of a European before 12th April 2019.

What happens to my rights if there is no agreement?

Nothing. Your rights will remain the same as before. As before, once the UK leaves the EU on 12th April 2019, EU citizens will have the same rights, being able to:

 Work in the United Kingdom

  • Use the NHS (public health services)
  • Register for or continue in education
  • Access aid and pensions (Benefits), if eligible
  • Enter and leave the United Kingdom with a European passport.

What’s the difference between having an agreement and not having one?

As far as immigration is concerned, the only difference is in the deadlines, both when applying for pre-indefinite or indefinite status and when bringing relatives to the UK. For the rest, the application procedure and the rights of Europeans and their families will be the same whether there is an agreement or not.

And if there is a deal?

I live in the UK, will they throw us out?

No, but it will be necessary to apply for indefinite or pre-indefinite status before 30th June 2021.

I have never lived in the UK, do I have a deadline to enter?

Yes, EU citizens will have until 31st December 2020 to enter and reside in the UK. After that date, it is not decided what will happen.

How long do I have to apply for this status?

Until 30th June 2020.

Will I be able to bring over my non-European relatives after Brexit?

Yes, as long as you can prove that they were married to or dependent(s) of a European before 31st December 2020.

Regardless of whether there is a deal or not

 What is indefinite status and settled status?

It is the status that will be given to all EU citizens and family members who have resided in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years.

What is pre-indefinite status or pre-settled status?

It is the status that will be given to all EU citizens and family members who have resided in the UK for a continuous period of less than 5 years.

How long can I be out of the UK before applying for this status?

So that the years lived in the UK are not nullified, EU citizens cannot leave for more than 6 months in every 12 months. For example, if someone entered the UK in January 2015, but was out of the UK from January to July 2017, their residence would be re-counted from as soon as they entered again in August 2017, and they would lose the previous two years.

You can be out of the UK for 12 consecutive months without losing the accumulated years, provided it is for a justified reason: health, work, studies, pregnancy, military service.

Who has to apply for this status?

All EU citizens and their non-European relatives, regardless of age or how long they have lived in the UK.

Do my minor children have to apply?

Sí. Aunque su hijo haya nacido en el RU, si no tiene pasaporte británico va a tener que solicitar este estatus. Si no lo hace antes de la fecha límite se quedaría de manera irregular.

Yes. Even if your child was born in the UK, if they do not have a British passport they will have to apply for this status. If this is not done before the deadline, the child would be in the country illegally.

I’ve been in the UK for 20 years; do I have to apply?

Yes, if you only have a European passport, you must apply for this status.

When can I apply?

Right now.

I live in the UK and I’m leaving this summer to go on vacation, but I have not applied for status. Will I be able to come back?

Yes, until 31st December 2020, EU citizens can enter the UK without any problems. After that date they must show that they have applied for pre-indefinite or indefinite status.

What happens to my rights after Brexit?

Your rights will remain the same. Both before and after Brexit, regardless of whether there is a deal or not, EU citizens and their families will have the same rights as before Brexit. That is, they can:

  • Work in the United Kingdom
  • Use the NHS (public health services)
  • Register for or continue in education
  • Access aid and pensions (Benefits), if eligible
  • Enter and leave the United Kingdom with a European passport.

In order to enjoy these rights after 31st December 2020, EU citizens and their families must have applied for pre-indefinite or indefinite status.

Can my boss dismiss me if I do not apply for status before Brexit?

No. EU citizens and their families have until 31st December 2020 to apply and show employers that they have the right to work in the UK. Until that date, no company can dismiss or change any of the rights to Europeans for that reason.

How much does it cost to apply?

As of 29th March 2019, it will be completely free.

Applications received before this date will cost £ 65, which will be automatically returned as of 29th March 2019

What do I need to apply for this permit?

  • Prueba de identidad: Pasaporte válido para los europeos y tarjeta de residencia (biométrico) para sus familiares no europeos
  • Proof of identity: A valid European passport and residence permit/card for their non-European relatives
  • Proof of continued residence: The National Insurance Number will allow an automatic check of tax payments and / or collection of benefits in the UK. If that verification is sufficient to prove continued residence, no other documentation will be needed. If not, bank statements, doctor’s letters, invoices, etc., will serve.
  • Proof of relation: Relatives of Europeans and minors will need to prove the relationship with a European native (birth certificate, marriage)

 More information: Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation (IRMO)

 (Translated by Hannah Phelvin – Email: hphelvin@gmail.com) – Photos: Pixabay

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