Brexit and EU Citizens in the UK

After 2018 EU citizens in the UK may lose their current status allowing them to live, study and work in the UK. While we wait for the outcome of the UK’s negotiations to exit the EU, here is some information about the right to stay and visas.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 2018: the Home Office made available some information about Settled Status for EU citizens
Applications to start from 30th March 2019, cost £65.

UPDATE DECEMBER 2016: there is still no announcement from HM Government regarding the status of European citizens in the UK after Brexit.

UPDATE JULY 2016: the HM Government website issued a statement guaranteeing the status of EU nationals in the UK

UPDATE OCTOBER 2016: Theresa May’s government’s position is still unclear on the status of EU citizens. The House of Commons voted AGAINST recognising the contribution of EU citizens to the UK.
After 2018 EU citizens residing in the EU will need to decide whether to stay in the UK and apply for a visa, apply for British citizenship or enjoy their right to free movement of people within the EU therefore move to another EU member state.
Of course it is advisable to make this decision before 2018. While this article should not be considered as any form of advice (please seek professional advice on this matter), it is assumed that EU residents in the UK will need to apply for the right to stay.

However, it can also be argued that European citizens already established in the UK will retain their right to stay The situation hasn’t been finalised because at the time of writing there is no definite plan.
The current situation for non-EU citizens working in the UK is as follows: in order to stay in the UK you need to prove you are in employment and earn at least £35,000 a year (bearing in mind the average salary is approximately £25,500 according to the ONS

It is worth reading the full response from the Government to the petition to scrap the £35,000 threshold:
Good news if you are a Tier 1 investor with a net worth of £2 million, as the process is straightforward and the requirement is to invest the capital in UK based businesses within 3 months. If you invest £10 million you can apply for permanent residency after 2 years.

Permanent  Residency

After residing in the UK for 5 years you can apply for permanent residency.

These are the Government guidelines for applying for a permanent residency card:
The fee to apply is £65 plus you need to provide biometric information at a cost of £19.20 (2016).

For a family of 4 applying for residence will cost £260 plus biometric fees.
This was the link to the application form, now deleted:
Please note: the application form is 80 pages long (I repeat: 80 pages long!).

British Citizenship

In 2016  fees for adults to apply for British citizenship are £1,236 and for children  £936
You also need to take the Life in the UK exam for a fee of £50 and required to study the handbook (£12.99)

The application form for British naturalisation is “only” 30 pages long

What About UK Citizens Applying For EU Passports? 

Each EU member country has different rules; Time Out magazine started compiling a list Here is a partial list of countries, with the number of years required to be a resident before being able to apply for citizenship:

  • Spain 10 years
  • Ireland proof or Irish ancestry required or 5 years and proof of income
  • Greece 10 years
  • Cyprus 1 year
  • Germany 8 years
  • Finland 4 years (proof of income needed)
  • Italy 10 years (4 years for EU citizens)
  • Poland 5 years or 3 years if married to a Polish citizen
  • Romania 8 years or 5 years if married to a Romanian citizen
  • Luxemburg 7 years
  • Austria 10 years or 5 if married to an Austrian citizen
  • Denmark 9 years
  • Hungary 8 years
  • Malta must demonstrate to be a Maltese descendant, or after 5 years if married to a Maltese, or after 1 years if investing €650.000
  • Sweden 5 years

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