Simple. Straightforward. Fast – words not normally associated with the Home Office or its processes. Yet in an announcement that is likely to gladden [or at least provide relief] to EU citizens and their non EU family members living in the UK, Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that a scheme will be launched by 30 March 2019 that will allow EU nationals to claim ‘settled status’ in the UK. This certainly comes as welcome news for EU nationals in UK post Brexit.
Hemang Laaheru, Director [Immigration] at The Smartmove2UK opines, “Its great that the Home Office is promising simplicity in the process, for instance, the eligibility criteria includes applicants have to be EU citizens with continuous residence for a 5 year period and started living in the UK by 31 Dec 2020, non EU citizens will be required to prove that they are in a genuine relationship with the EU national, while EU nationals not living in the UK for 5 years could apply for ‘pre-settled status’ – however additional clarity is needed as to what will happen to cases where people who are not registered by June 2021 [for instance children, carers, senior citizens].
It would be challenging to see how the Home Office copes with the 3.2 million applications before the end date of the program – especially in light of the delays in processing EEA Family permit applications during 2017, wherein EU family members from around the world had faced delays of almost 6 – 9 months to have their applications processed.
Whilst this is the welcome statement, it will be interesting to see if the Home Office can change the perception from unfriendly environment culture to a welcoming one.”
Amidst widespread reform in the UK after the break from the EU, one can never be sure about the long-term benefits (or goals) of the Home Office. Are you, or someone you know, EU nationals in UK post Brexit? You and your family can at least sleep assured tonight knowing that there are reforms being made in order to provide a more welcoming UK EU environment. As for the true impact of this move by the Home Secretary, only time will tell the outcomes.
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