On 18 February 2019 the Government published further information regarding immigration into the UK for citizens of the EU in the event of no-deal scenario at the end of March.
The document emphasises that leaving the EU with a deal remains the Government’s top priority.
In the event of no-deal, once the UK leaves the EU EEA nationals will be able to enter the UK as they do now until the end of 2020.
EEA nationals will be granted deemed leave to enter, including permission to work, for a period of 3 months.
There will be no requirement to apply for a visa or leave to remain for those EEA nationals wishing to stay for a maximum of 3 months.
EEA nationals wishing to stay in the UK for longer than 3 months will be required to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain (ETLR).
What is ETLR?
ETLR will allow EEA nationals arriving in the UK after 29 March 2019 to live, work and study in the UK in the event of no-deal.
EEA citizens who are granted ETLR will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date of their application.
ETLR will be a temporary non-extendable status. It will not lead to indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or to status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
If EEA citizens wish to stay in the UK for more than 36 months, they will have to apply for an immigration status under the new immigration system, which will come into effect from 31 January 2021.
Who can apply?
Applicants must be:
- EEA citizens
- Who arrive in the UK after the UK leaves the EU
- Who wish to stay in the UK for more than 3 months
How to apply?
Applications must be submitted within 3 months of arriving in the UK.
The application will be online.
Mirroring the EU settlement scheme, applicants will simply be required to prove their identity and declare any criminal convictions.
EEA citizens who enter the UK before the UK leaves the EU will still be eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme regardless of a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Irish citizens will continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK under the Common Travel Area arrangements.
A fee will apply to applications for ETLR however the Immigration Skills Charge and Immigration Health Surcharge will not apply.