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On the 8th of December 2017 the UK Government issued Joint Report on the progress of Article 50 talks with the EU negotiators. The Joint Report sets out the current UK position on the rights of EU citizens post Brexit on which further negotiations will be based.

Specified Date

The cut-off date proposed by the UK for EU citizens in the UK to retain the right to remain in the UK under current EU free movement rules is the 29th March 2017 (which was the date that Article 50 was triggered). This was disputed by the EU and the 29th March 2019 has been proposed as cut-off date. However, the UK is negotiating a transition period during which the UK will remain aligned with the single market. The transition period is likely to be for a period of 2 years after 29th March 2019. This means that freedom of movement of EU citizens could remain until March 2021 and the Specified Date could therefore move from 29th March 2019 to 29th March 2021. This will be subject to negotiations.

Settled Status and Temporary Status

EU citizens who can show a continuous 5 years lawful residence in the UK before the Specified Date will be granted permanent right to remain known as Settled Status. EU citizens who arrive before the Specified Date but do not have 5 years lawful residence in the UK would be allows to remain in the UK until they have completed a continuous 5 years of lawful residence.

Arriving after the Specified Date

If a EU citizen arrives after the Specified Date and wishes to remain in the UK she will need to apply under UK domestic immigration rules. Currently, the domestic immigration rules require evidence of annual income of £ 18,600 or £62,500 in annual savings.

Family members

The UK will also recognise right to remain of family members of an EU citizen lawfully resident in the UK by the specified date. These include born or adopted children of the EU citizen and those EU citizens resident outside the UK who can demonstrate a continuing relationship with a EU citizen who has Settled Status.

Absence from the UK

EU citizens who have Settled Status will be permitted absences from the UK of up to 5 years before they lose their status.

Certificate of Permanent Residence

Those EU citizens who have obtained a UK Certificate of Permanent Residence by the Specified Date, will be able to exchange their Certificate for Certificate of Settled Status free of charge subject to ongoing residence and criminal and security checks.

Administrative Procedures

The Joint Report states that the procedure for application for Settled Status should be "transparent, smooth and streamlined". I understand that the UK Home Office will introduce an App which will allow application for Settle Status to made speedily.

The UK remains in negotiations with the EU and it is likely that the rights of EU citizens will remain a negotiating counter within the wider talks on transition period.

Domenic Pini (Pini Franco LLP)

This Article has been originally published by Domenic Pini of Pini Franco LLP on LinkedIn and is available here:

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