There has been an ongoing discussion of whether it is right or wrong for the UK to leave the European Union. The UK electorates voted on 23 June, 2016, where the majority, about 51.9% voted in favor of Brexit. The turnout for this referendum was about 72.2%, but all EU (European Union) citizens residing in the UK were denied a chance to vote in this referendum. This is despite the fact that they pay taxes, and are allowed to vote in all the other elections in the UK. Now the UK is set to officially exit from the EU on 29 March, 2019. The big question, what happens to the EU citizens who reside in the UK? Should they leave the country as well? The good news is that they don’t need to leave. In fact, there are companies that can help Eu citizens get their visas verified and continue their stay in the U.K. WM Immigration is one of them. Check out https://www.wmimmigration.com/ to see how you can have your UK visa verified within a day if you are an EU citizen.
So what protects EU citizens living in the U.K? Well, the UK has already reached an agreement with the EU on the status of the EU citizens living in the UK. In this agreement;
- Any person who has been living continuously in the UK for 5 years and has no record of criminal activity can apply to continue living indefinitely, and have access to government services and funds. They will be given a settled status after which, they can apply for citizenship.
- Those who arrive at the prospective date will be allowed to stay. They will have to live continuously for 5 years without in record of criminal activity to apply for the settled status.
- If a family member joins you in the country, they will be eligible for the settled status in 5 years’ time.
- For close family members like spouses or some unmarried partners, children, brothers or sisters who were living in the UK before the 29th of March 2019 will also be eligible for the settled status after 5 years.
- If you are a citizen or one of the family members of EU citizens, then you will be able to apply for the settled status after living continuously and lawfully for 5 years.
All EU citizens living in the UK prior to Brexit will continue enjoying the rights and privileges they have been enjoying. This is also part of that agreement. If there are any workers employed by UK nationals in the UK who are from the EU countries, they will continue working without any restrictions.
However, it is mandatory that these citizens apply for a status document. This document will validate to employers and government officials that such EU citizens have the permission to continue working and staying in the UK. Application fees for these documents will be equal to the amount UK citizens pay when applying for their passports. However, it will be free for those who already have documents showing that they have permanent residence.
The home office in the UK is trying to make the application process as easy as possible. This is in a bid to enable all eligible EU citizens to apply as soon as possible. They are set to use HMRC employment records so that they do not have to provide a lot of information. You will only provide a few relevant documents as requested. These documents will be an identity document as well as a recent picture to confirm your nationality. You will also be required to declare if you have ever been convicted or not before the settled status can be confirmed.