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British Citizens in Europe

What happens in a no-deal scenario?

Brexit Immigration Advice

British Citizens and EU Member State Immigration Policy 

Preparing for a “no-deal” Brexit

Members of Parliament (MPs) have now rejected the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the British Government and the European Union three times.

On Wednesday 10 April the European Council of leaders agreed to a further extension to the Article 50 notice. The new deadline is 31 October 2019.

Having failed to reach agreement on a way forward in Parliament, Theresa May resigned as leader of the conservative party on Friday 7 June. Following a leadership election Boris Johnson became leader of the party and subsequently Prime Minister on Wednesday 24 July.

The new Prime Minister says that Britain will be leaving the EU on 31 October, “no ifs or buts”. He has talked of “turbocharging” plans for a no-deal outcome and he has appointed a cabinet made up mostly of hard line Brexiters.

Unless an amended Withdrawal Agreement is reached with the EU and ratified by the UK Parliament, the default position is that Britain will leave the European Union without a deal on 31 October.

What are the possible consequences for British citizens abroad? Will the legal status of the affected British citizens change and will those changes be permanent?

In the absence of a binding Withdrawal Agreement including a chapter on Citizen’s Rights, each individual member state will apply its own laws. Listed below is a brief introduction to the policies and processes that a range of EU countries are likely to or have already put in place in the event of “no-deal”. 

 

WORK AND RESIDENCE IN THE EU & SWITZERLAND 

Country “No-Deal” Policy
Austria ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: will allow a 6 month transition period from the date the UK leaves the EU, during which time British nationals will be required to apply for a residence permit.

·         British citizens who have legally lived in Austria for 5 years or more will be able to apply for “Daueraufenthalt – EU” permanent residence.

·         Those who have lived in Austria legally for less than 5 years will be able to apply for a “Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte plus” residence permit.

·         Throughout the processing period applicants will be permitted to remain and work.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Belgium ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: transitional period to regularise stay will apply from the date the UK leaves the EU until 31 December 2020.

·         British citizens holding an EU residence permit (as a UK national) which is to expire before the end of the transitional period, will be renewed under the same conditions, and will be valid up until 31 December 2020.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Bulgaria ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: residence certificates which are currently issued to British citizens (as EU nationals) are to continue to be recognised until 31 December 2020 or until the expiry date, whichever is first.

·         A re-registration process will likely apply, whereby current registration certificates will be replaced by a residence permit for a third country national.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Croatia ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: Residence documents issued under the existing Aliens Act are to continue to be recognised after the date the UK leaves the EU, and for up to 1 year from the date the “new” Act comes into force, or the date of expiry (whichever comes first)

·         Documents currently held are to be recognised as “Temporary National Residence Permits for nationals of the UK after Brexit”.

·         A transition period of up to 1 year is therefore likely to be introduced, during which time current permits are to be replaced.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Cyprus ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: proposed that British citizens currently residing in Cyprus will be able to remain in case of a no-deal.

·         It is proposed that residence documents issued under the current 2004/38/EC directive will remain valid until the end of the transitional period, 31 December 2020.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Czech Republic ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: affected citizens already residing in the Czech Republic will be exempt from the current rules associated with third-country nationals until 31 December 2020 (this date is subject change), allowing for an exemption period.

·         During the transition period, those British citizens registered in the Czech Republic will need to apply for a residence permit.

·         Those holding an EU temporary residence certificate, and those who have already registered or applied for residence will be able to remain and work in the Czech Republic until 31 December 2020 (subject to change).

·         Permanent residence permit holders will need to exchange their current permit for a biometric residence card.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Denmark ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: proposed that from the date the UK leaves the EU, a temporary transitional scheme will apply until a permanent solution has been agreed upon.

·         Under the scheme, British citizens residing in Denmark will be able to continue living and working in Denmark as per current legislation.

·         British citizens will be considered third country nationals, and Danish national rules applicable to third country nations will apply.

EEA and EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: will safeguard citizens’ rights in case of a no-deal scenario; “the EEA EFTA No Deal Citizens’ Rights Agreement”. This agreement ensures that British citizens and their family members who are entitled to reside and work in the EEA EFTA may continue to do so on the date the UK leaves the EU.

·         British citizens and their family members who arrive for work and residence purposes after the leave date will have to follow the rules that apply to citizens of third-country nationals.

·         Norway: British citizens who do not yet have a permanent right of residence will have the right to reside, but they may need to apply for a new residence permit; British citizens with a permanent right of residence will not lose right to reside, even if they do not have a registration certificate; British citizens who have a residence/settlement permit and a Norwegian national identity number will be considered to have proof of legal residence in Norway; British citizens will need to be able to prove that they moved to Norway before the date of exit day and that they qualify for residence under the EU Free Movement Directive (Directive 2004/38/EC 2004) if they do not already have residence documentation.

Estonia ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised that British citizens will be able to remain and reside in Estonia in case of a no deal

·         proposing to offer a transitional period up until 31 March 2021, during which time British citizens are to secure a residence permit card

·         British citizens arriving for work and residence purposes from the date the UK leaves the EU until 31 March 2021 (subject to change), would be able to register as UK nationals

·         British citizens arriving from 01 April 2021 (date subject to change) will be treated as third country nationals and will need to adhere to immigration processes associated with non-EU nationals

Finland ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: currently investigating the possibility of introducing “special arrangements”, which will enable British citizens to travel and return to Finland should the UK leave the EU with no-deal in place

·         British citizens who have registered their residence by the date of Brexit, will continue to be able to remain to live and work in Finland in case of a no-deal Brexit, until the end of 2020 (date yet to be confirmed).

·         A “special act” will therefore apply to those citizens who have registered their EU right of residence, and will thus be able to remain without the need of having to apply for any immigration documents.

·         Those who have not registered by the leave date will be considered third-country nationals.

France ·         No deal Brexit legislation not yet in place: it will involve a transitional approach where the final end date of the transition period will be 1 year from the date the UK leaves the EU. However the decree is still pending.

·         For British citizens to remain after the final end date, they will need to be in possession of a residence permit.

·         Those who already hold a residence permit as an EU citizen will be able to exchange their permit for a long-term non-EU residence permit.

·         Those British citizens who have been working and residing in France for 5 years or more from the date of Brexit, will be able to apply for a 10 year French Residence Card.

·         In effect, British citizens will likely be granted between 3 and 12 months to regularise their stay and apply for the appropriate permit. The final date is still unclear.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Germany ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place.

·         British citizens will be considered third-country nationals, although resident British citizens will not be required to leave Germany. A transitional approach is to be adopted which would allow British citizens to submit an immigration application to the competent foreigner’s office in Germany. The period is to initially run for 3 months from the date the UK was to leave the EU.

·         During the transitional period, British citizens and their families previously exercising free movement will be able to continue to live and work in Germany without a residence or work permit.

·         To remain and reside in Germany after the transitional period, British citizens will need a residence permit. To work, approval from the German employment agency is likely to be required.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Greece ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: Current EU regulations concerning the Free Movement Directive are to continue to operate until 31 December 2020.

·         UK citizens in Greece without a registration certificate and those who enter up unto 31 December 2020 will be given the opportunity to register.

·         A draft bill proposes that effective 01 January 2020, British citizens who are residence of Greece, prior to the date of leave, who hold a registration certificate or a temporary or permanent residence document will be invited to attend the competent authorities to submit an application for a new biometric residence card.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Hungary ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: British citizens who have resided in Hungary for 3 years or more, on the date of Brexit, will be able to apply for a National Permanent Residence Permit.

·         Applications must be submitted no later than 3 years after the leave date. During this time, documents previously issued will remain valid.

·         New arrivals for work and residence purposes, after the date the UK leaves the EU, will be subject to the same requirements as those required for third- country nationals

Ireland and the Common Travel Area ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: British citizens who currently reside in the Common Travel Area (CTA) will not be affected by the UK’s exit from the EU.

·         The ability to travel freely and reside in the CTA after Brexit will remain unchanged

·         British and Irish nationals will not be required to apply for any form of settled status, work or residence permit, post Brexit, as the rights to work, to study and to access social security and public services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals.

·         Travel between the UK and Ireland will also not be affected. This includes movement across the land border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Italy ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: British citizens currently residing in Italy, will be able apply to regularise their stay and will have up until 31 December 2020 to do so.

·         British citizens who have regularly resided in Italy for at least 5 years, from the date the UK leaves the EU, will be able to apply for a long term EU residence permit.

·         British citizens who have regularly resided in Italy for less than 5 years, from the date the UK leaves the EU, will have until 31 December 2020 to apply for a 5 year “permesso di soggiorno per residenza, which can be renewed for a further 5 years.

·         British citizens who do not comply with the above registration and residence permit requirements will be subject to the same penalties that are currently applicable to third country nationals.

·         Effective 01 January 2021, UK citizens who are to relocate to Italy will be subject to the same regulations as third country nationals.

Latvia ·         No deal Brexit legislation to be adopted: current certificates issued under directive 2004/38/EC are to continue to be valid until 31 December 2020.

·         British citizens that have resided in Latvia for less than 5 years, up until 31 December 2019, will be able to apply for a national temporary residence permit, and those who have lived in Latvia for longer than 5 years may apply for a national long term residence permit.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Lithuania ·         No deal Brexit legislation proposed: all UK citizens will be able to stay in Lithuania in case of a no-deal Brexit.

·         A 9 month transitional period is being proposed, during which time British citizens currently residing in Lithuania will be able to change their legal status accordingly.

·         British citizens who wish to reside in Lithuania after the date the UK leaves the EU and whose current residency documents will expire before 2020, are “invited” to apply under the EU citizens and their family member’s scheme for temporary or permanent residence.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Luxembourg ·         No deal Brexit legislation agreed: British citizens are to be granted permission to remain on the basis of their current EU residence documents. These documents will be valid until 30 March 2020 (date subject to change).

·         All British citizens will need to be in possession of a residence permit by 30 March 2020. The deadline to apply for a residence permit is 30 December 2019 (date subject to change).

·         Those entering for work and residence purposes after Brexit will require the appropriate permits to enter and remain, as they will be considered third country nationals.

Malta ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: Those British Citizens who are residents of Malta prior to the date of leave will be able to remain in Malta. To qualify they must be able to demonstrate that they are self-sufficient and have adequate health insurance.

·         British citizens working and residing in Malta up until the date the UK leaves the EU will need to apply for a Residence Permit, which will be free of charge, valid for 10 years and renewable.

·         British citizens holding valid Certificates issued under the Residents Scheme will also be eligible to remain. However, Residents Certificates are to be surrendered, and an application for a Residence Permit submitted within 2 years of the withdrawal date.

·         The new residence document will reflect the fact that UK nationals are no longer EU citizens, but a new ‘special’ category of EU nationals who have moved to Malta and have acquired rights which will not change.

·         A different permit will be available to British citizens who wish to enter for work and residence purposes after Brexit.

Netherlands ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: offering a transitional period up until 01 July 2020 during which time British citizens will keep their rights of residence and employment.

·         Will issue temporary residence permits in the form of a letter. The letter will indicate that even in the event of a no deal, UK citizens will be able to continue residing in the Netherlands and will receive a residence permit. The Naturalisation Service will issue a further letter inviting British citizens to apply for a residence permit.

·         Should a British citizen already hold permanent residence status, the IND will automatically change their status to issue them a national permanent residence permit.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Poland ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: proposes a grace period of 1 year be introduced, during which time British citizens will be able to remain and work in Poland, and apply for a residence permit as a third country national.

·         Depending upon length of stay, British citizens will be able to apply for a temporary residence permit valid for 5 years, or a permanent residence permit.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Portugal ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: an implementation period is to be introduced, from the date the UK leaves the EU, until 31 December 2020, during which time British citizens who are resident in Portugal are to convert their current registration certificate into a residence permit.

·         After 5 years of continued residence, British citizens will be able to apply for permanent residence status under a “relaxed” application, compared to that of the current application applicable to third country nationals.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Romania ·         No deal Brexit legislation under construction: proposing to offer a transitional period, until 31 December 2019, during which time immigration documents already issued to British residents in Romania will remain valid.

·         To secure residence after the transitional period, British citizens will need to have applied for a temporary residence permit. A fee for the permit is likely to apply. The permit should be issued in around 30 days and will be valid for a period of 5 years.

·         Those who have lived in Romania for more than 5 years and or hold a permanent residence card will be able to apply for a long tem permit during the transitional period.

·         British citizens who arrive in Romania before the date the UK leaves the EU, but have not registered, will be granted a 3 month grace period from the date of leave, during which time they are to apply for a 5 year temporary residence permit.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Slovakia ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: UK nationals who have the right to permanent residence by the date of leave will be able to apply for a long-term residence permit.

·         Those who have not resided in Slovakia for 5 years or more will need to apply for the relevant permit.

·         A transitional period until 31 December 2020 will apply.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Slovenia ·         No deal Brexit legislation not yet in place: The government aims to adopt and introduce “urgent legislation”. Slovenia will look to regularise the stay of those already established British citizens in Slovenia.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Spain ·         No deal Brexit legislation in place: The law will come into effect on the day the UK leaves the EU in case of a no deal.

·         A transitional period up until 31 December 2020 is to apply. During this time British citizens working and residing in Spain will be subject to a “documentation procedure” which will relate to establishing a new status.

·         UK residents of Spain holding an EU Registration Certificate issued within the 5 Years prior to the date of withdrawal will need to apply for a Foreigner’s Identity Card bearing the notification “Temporary Work and Residence Permit for UK national”. The card will be valid for up to 5 years. They will also have to apply for a residence permit.

·         UK residents of Spain not holding an EU Registration Certificate prior to the date of withdrawal will need to apply for a Temporary Work and Residence Permit.

·         During the transitional period, valid EU registration certificates for EU nationals and residence cards of dependents of EU nationals will remain valid as evidence of legal status until new status has been granted.

·         Should a UK national not hold a long term certificate or permit but have lived in Spain continuously for 5 years prior to the leave date, he/she will be able to apply for a long term permit, providing they meet  criteria as set out in article 32 of the Organic Act 4/2000.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

Sweden ·         No deal Brexit legislation not in place: proposes to permit those British citizens who are currently working and residing in Sweden, a 1 year transition period, whereby they will be permitted to continue to work and reside in Sweden.

·         During this 1 year period, British citizens will need to request proof of the fact that they are covered by an exemption to the need of a work and residence permit. Here they will need to contact the Migration Agency who is to provide British citizens with a Temporary Residence Rights Certificate, which negates the need of a work and residence permit.

·         In addition to requesting the certificate, during the transition period, those British citizens will likely need to apply for the appropriate work and residence permit.

·         British citizens arriving for work and residence purposes from the date the UK leaves the EU are to be classified as third country nationals and will require the appropriate work and residence permit as other non-EU nationals currently do.

Switzerland ·         No deal Brexit legislation/agreement under construction: the residence rights that British citizens acquired under the Bilateral Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) (i.e. up until Brexit) will be protected and will be valid indefinitely.

·         The Federal Council agreed to introduce a temporary separate quota system for British citizens arriving for work and residence after the UK leaves the EU.

·         For a limited period, at the latest until 31 December 2020, simplified requirements will apply to work permit applications, whereby the need to verify professional qualifications and, federal government approval for cantonal permits would be waived to applicants already resident in Switzerland.

·         New arrivals will be treated as third country nationals and will be subject to national legislation.

 

 

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