Find out how end of Freedom of Movement will affect those willing to work in the UK.
The UK left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 and the transition period for the BREXIT will end on 31 December 2020 which will also end the Free Movement Rights.
This will mean that EU, EEA and Swiss nationals planning to come to the UK to work and live permanently from 01 January 2021 will be treated in the same way as non-EEA nationals. However, the immigration rules or the new system will not apply to EEA citizens already living in the UK by 31 December 2020. EEA citizens and their EEA as well as non-EEA family members are eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 to continue living in the UK under current system.
I am an EEA citizen. What will change for me?
If you are already in the UK and if you have not already done so, please apply under EU Settlement Scheme. If you are granted Settled Status you can retain your rights even if you leave the UK for five years for any reason. If you are granted Pre-settled Status you can leave the UK for up to 2 years without losing your current rights.
Once you have applied under EUSS and your application is approved, you may be eligible for all the benefits like use of NHS facilities and social benefits in the UK.
How can I apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)?
More than 3,000,000 EEA nationals have already registered under the EUSS and if you are already in the UK, you should apply soon, not later than 30 June 2021. You will need to apply online under the EU Settlement Scheme and there is no fee to pay. You cannot specifically request for the Settled Status when you submit your application under the EU Settlement Scheme in the UK. The Home Office will decide if you meet the requirements for settled status or pre-settled status.
The Home Office will grant settled status if you have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and you have lived continuously for a period of Five (5) years in the UK when you apply. If you have not completed five years continuous stay, you will be granted pre-settled status.
Proof of continuous residence
For the calculation of continuous five years stay, you must provide proof of residence in the UK to demonstrate that you have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12-month period for 5 years in a row. You need to provide proof of this when you apply. There are some exceptions to this requirement.
You will need to provide your National Insurance number to allow an automated check of your residence based on tax and certain benefit records.
If this check is successful, you will not need to provide any other documents in support of your proof of residence. You will only need to provide documents if you have been here for 5 years in a row but there is not enough official data to confirm this.
If the Home Office feels that there is not much of evidence to support your claim of five years stay, you will be granted pre-settled status.
What will I need to do if I wish to come to the UK after 01 January 2021?
If you plan to travel to the UK for work after 01 January 2021, you will need sponsorship i.e., Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer who is on the sponsor register for skilled workers. If you wish to come to the UK for higher education under new student visa route, you will need Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from an approved education provider who is on the Student Sponsor Register. You will also need to pay course fees, visa fees and also immigration health surcharge.
You will need to pay visa fees and immigration health surcharge not only for you but also for each dependant family member. Your spouse and children under the age of 18 will be able to apply as your dependants if you are applying under the categories where dependants are allowed.
This will be a huge impact to you as EEA citizen, if you are planning to come to the UK after 31 December 2020 and you should try and start living in the UK before end of December.
If you are coming to the UK for visit or holidays, you will be able to come without a visa for a period of up to 6 months.
I am UK Employer employing EU Citizens. What will I need to do?
If you are a UK Employer employing EU nationals, you can continue to accept the passports and national identity cards of EU citizens as evidence of their right to work in the UK up until 30 June 2021, as a transition measure.
However, if you wish to employ skilled workers from the EU after 01 January 2021, who are not already in the UK by 31 December 2020, you will need to sponsor them in the same way as non-EEA skilled workers. You may need to apply for sponsor license, if you do not hold the sponsor license under current Tier 2 and 5.
Which countries are covered under the EEA?
The EU countries include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
The European Economic Area (EEA)
The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU's single market.
Switzerland is not an EU or EEA member but is part of the single market. This means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.
The changes to the Immigration Rules will not apply to Irish citizen.
We feel there would be big rush in the last days before 31 December 2020 and so it is advisable to take steps asap
How can HSMP Services Help Me?
HSMP Services Ltd. is an immigration adviser registered with and monitored by OISC UK and has been providing UK Immigration Services to individuals and businesses for UK Visa applications. We will be happy to help you with your application. Please contact us Today. This article is published for the purpose of providing basic information about the impact of changes to the UK Visa Rules and is not legal advice.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.