Following on from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, what would be the implications from an EEA National’s perspective?
It should be pointed out that the referendum on 23 June 2016 has no immediate legal effect and all remains the same for the time being. Thus, EU citizens living with their families in the UK are free to enter and leave the UK.
At the moment, the UK have not activated Article 50 which initiates their departure from the EU and this will probably be a two year process as treaties are negotiated. No one is sure when this will happen.
What we do know is that the UK government has mentioned that they seek to properly protect the rights of EU nationals and their family.
Having said that, there is no clear indication as to what the UK government will offer in terms of rights and legal basis. Rest assured something will be offered. Ideally, the Norwegian model would suit EU nationals well as free movement laws would most likely be unaffected. There will be a period of transition.
The groups that may want to re assess their position are the ones who have not applied for any residence cards or possess sickness insurance. Non EU citizens who have previously benefited from the expanded EU case law like Zambrano or have retained rights of residence may also feel the need to worry given the UK government’s stance and resistance against them in the first instance.
It might be an idea for the above to apply for residence cards merely to confirm their status and further safeguard their legal position. Following in the same vein, it may also be useful for a person who is able to qualify for permanent residence to do so at once as there will most likely be transitional arrangements in place
It is advisable and prudent to obtain legal advice from a specialist immigration solicitor before making any proposed application.
Please speak to our Immigration specialist Alvyn Kee on 020 7998 7777 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.