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The status of European Union Nationals in The UK following “Brexit”

Posted by Gunes Saybak on July 29, 2016

The UK Government produced a statement on 11/07/16 regarding the status of European Union (EU) nationals in the UK following the result of the UK to leave the EU.
g>EU Nationals who have lived in the UK for 5 years

EU Nationals who have lived lawfully and continuously in the UK for 5 years as “qualified persons” (i.e. jobseekers, workers, self-employed persons, self-sufficient persons or students) will have a right to permanently reside in the UK.

This is an implied right and there is no requirement to have a document confirming this status unless an application for British Citizenship is made, in which case the right of permanent residence must first be confirmed.

EU Nationals who have lived in the UK for less than 5 years

The UK Government confirmed in the statement referred to above, that there had been no change to government policy or process for EU applications and that they would continue to be processed as usual.

The following continue to apply:

  • EU nationals have a right to reside in the UK in accordance with EU law and do not need a formal document as confirmation of their rights and entitlements.
  • Non-EU family members and extended family members who wish to enter the UK under EU law must apply for family permits
  • Non-EU family members in the UK may apply for residence cards as confirmation of their right to continue living in the UK.
  • Non-EU extended family members must apply for residence cards if they wish to continue living in the UK
  • There is no change to the position of Irish nationals in the UK and they will continue to be treated in the same way as British nationals.

Under transitional arrangements put in effect in 2013, Croatian nationals may still need to apply for registration certificates depending on their circumstances.

Will EU nationals be required to leave or be removed from the UK?

As there has been no change to the rights and entitlements of EU nationals residing in the UK, they will continue to have the legal right to reside in the UK in accordance with EU Law and will only be removed on the following grounds:

  • Public safety and security reason
  • Not being lawfully resident by not exercising Treaty rights

Contact Us

 If you are an EU national, the family or extended family member of an EU national and would like to discuss your status in the UK with one of our local advisors, please call our offices on 0208 995 3556 or email us at