I hold a EU passport (therefore EU Nationality) and have been living in the UK since 2002.
I have the full rights to work and stay in the UK. Can you please confirm whether any of my rights will be impacted after Brexit? If so, please explain what will be affected? Do I need to apply for a British passport after Brexit or will my EU passport suffice?
A. The UK government is keen to reassure EU citizens and their family members living in the UK that they are welcome to stay and carry on with their lives in the same way they are now. However, after March 29, EU citizens will need to apply for settled or pre-settled status to remain in the UK. This includes people who were born in the UK but are not a British citizen and people who are from the EU and married to a British citizen.
Some exceptions do apply – if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. I’m not sure if any of these apply to yourself, so I’ll continue on the basis that they don’t. If they do, then more information is available here.
The rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK will remain the same until June 30, 2021.
If you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, you’ll be able to continue living and working in the UK after that date. You’ll be given either settled or pre-settled status.
In your case, you should get settled status as you were living in the UK before December 31, 2020 and have been here for more than five years. This is providing you’ve been in the UK for at least six months in any 12 month period.
You will still need to apply even if you have a UK permanent residence document but you won’t have to prove you have five years’ continuous residence.
If you are successful in applying for settled status you will be able to stay in the UK as long as you like. It will give you the right to apply for British citizenship, if you’re eligible, work in the UK, use the NHS, enrol in education or continue studying, access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them, and travel in and out of the UK. There would be no need to get a new passport, unless you successfully applied for citizenship in the future.
Any children born in the UK while you’re living here will automatically be British citizens, and (subject to approval by Parliament) you should be able to spend up to five years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status.
Anyone who does not have five years’ continuous residence will usually get ‘pre-settled status’ instead. This means they can stay in the UK for a further five years before either leaving or applying again for settled status.
All of this applies with or without a deal, with the exception of the differing deadline.
The government has been clear that EU citizens are our friends, our neighbours, our colleagues, and we want you to stay.