Brexit agreement: What EU citizens living in the UK need to know

Brexit agreement: What EU citizens living in the UK need to know
Euronews logo
Text size Aa Aa

This article was originally published after a Brexit deal was struck between Theresa May's government and the European Union in November 2018.

It summarises the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, as set out in the agreement. The deal was never ratified, but the provisions on citizens' rights have been incorporated in the new divorce agreement negotiated by Boris Johnson's government with the EU.

The Brexit deal negotiated between London and Brussels and approved by EU27 countries outlines the future rights of EU citizens currently living the UK. They will be applicable if Britain leaves the EU with a ratified agreement -- but not if there is no deal. The British government has published separate advice for a "no deal" scenario.

If however the Withdrawal Agreement is approved and you an EU citizen living in the UK, here is what you need to know:

Q:Will I be able to keep on living in the United Kingdom after March 29, 2019, when the UK is due to leave the European Union?

A: Yes. Essentially the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and UK citizens in the EU, are protected by the draft agreement. If you are from the EU and have lived in the UK permanently for five years by the end of the transition period (currently December 31, 2020) then you will be able to continue to reside in the UK permanently.

Q:What if, by the end of the transition period I haven't lived in the UK for five years?

A: You will still be able to acquire the right to permanent residency by completing five years living in the UK.

Q:Will my permanent resident status be conferred automatically, with no further action on my part?

A: In most cases no, you will have to apply for your new residence status. A government paper published in December says the deadline is 30 June 2021 -- six months after the end of the transition period. Exceptions are Irish citizens and people with indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK.

Q:Will the application be free of charge?

A: Yes. The government announced in January that it was scrapping plans for a fee of £65 for over-16s, £32.50 for under-16s. Its guidance to EU citizens says it's free to apply to the scheme, and anyone who has paid to apply will get a refund.

Q:Will my family be able to join me in the UK?

A: Yes, at least your close family - partners (married, civil and unmarried), dependent children and dependent parents or grandparents. However, the agreement does say that there are conditions attached to those who are defined as close family members or partners.

Q:Will I be able to continue working in the UK?

A: Yes, in general, you will have the same rights working in the UK as you have now.

Q:Will I still be able to leave and re-enter the UK whenever I choose?

A: Yes, during the transition period, as long as you hold a valid passport or national identity card from issued by your country within the EU. After the transition period family members who want to join you in the UK may need a visa.**

Q:** I'm an EU citizen but I've never lived or worked in the UK and wish to apply after the transition period - what will be my rights?

A: Good question. That has not been explained in the document. However in December the British government announced its post-Brexit immigration policy, which for EU nationals is much more restrictive than current arrangements.

This article has been updated to take account of new information published by the UK government.


What does the Brexit agreement mean for UK citizens living in the EU?

What would a no-deal Brexit mean for citizens' rights?

EU settlement scheme in the UK: what is it and how does it work?

Euronews is no longer accessible on Internet Explorer. This browser is not updated by Microsoft and does not support the last technical evolutions. We encourage you to use another browser, such as Edge, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.