UK Immigration Update – November 2017

November 8, 2017 All, UK
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UK Immigration Update – November 2017

 Home Office announce “commitments” on new administrative processes for EEA nationals applying for residence documentation after Brexit   The Home Office have published a ‘technical document’ for consideration by the…

 Home Office announce “commitments” on new administrative processes for EEA nationals applying for residence documentation after Brexit

 

The Home Office have published a ‘technical document’ for consideration by the European Commission in their ongoing withdrawal negotiations, outlining the UK’s proposals for ‘streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly’ processes for EEA nationals and their family members applying for residence documentation after Brexit. Such proposals are designed to form part of the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, binding the UK under international law.

If included, the commitments will apply to EU nationals and their family falling within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, defined as those ‘lawfully resident before the specified date’. Unfortunately, this all-important “specified date” has not yet been announced, and could prove to be anything from the date Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was announced on 29 March 2017 through to the date of Brexit itself – right now, this is not public knowledge.

 

So what are the key commitments? The document establishes the following:

  • 2-year grace period following Brexit to apply for status documentation, with the possibility of early ‘voluntary’ applications to be made prior to Brexit for those keen to secure the new status
  • Conditions for EU citizens acquiring permanent residence/settled status under the Withdrawal Agreement will be for individuals resident in the UK prior to the specified date and capable of evidencing five years of continuous and lawful residence as a worker, self-employed person, student, self-sufficient person, or family member thereof
  • For those without settled status but resident prior to the specific date, they shall be able to register for temporary status and continue their path of the necessary continuous five years’ lawful residence for settled status
  • To ensure lawful residence beyond the grace period’s end, applications to register must be submitted before this date – late applications will be considered only in exceptional circumstances
  • Reduction of supporting documentation and enhanced evidential flexibility
  • Setting fees akin to that for a British passport application (currently £72.50-85.50, depending on the number of pages you apply for)
  • Appeal rights shall be enforceable, along with the option of administrative review to resolve case-working errors
  • Decisions based upon criteria established in Withdrawal Agreement, with no discretion for other reasons for refusal
  • Digital, streamlined and user friendly application system – possibility to harness data held by other government departments e.g. HMRC
  • Removing need for applicants to have held comprehensive sickness insurance or provide fingerprints
  • Simple, low-cost process for those individuals already holding permanent residence documentation

 

The above proposals appear consistent with previous publications earlier this year – whether such proposals will survive to the final Withdrawal Agreement is subject to the continued negotiations.

 

FSA -UK immigration udpate – Nov 2017

If you would like further information on any part of this newsletter, please contact your dedicated Immigration Consultant via email on comms@fergusonsnell.co.uk or call us on +44 (0) 20 3668 2700.