The United Kingdom has announced immigration arrangements for EU citizens in the event of a no-deal exit from the European Union.

Key Points:

  • EU/EEA citizens resident in the U.K. before 11 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2019 will retain their rights to settlement and access to services that they currently have. These individuals will need to apply under the EU settlement scheme by Dec. 31, 2020.
  • EU/EEA citizens moving to the U.K. after 11 p.m. on Oct. 31, 2019 will be able to enter the U.K. as they currently do, with no need for any permission prior to travel. If these individuals plan to stay in the U.K. beyond Dec. 31, 2020, they will either need to:
    • Register for European Temporary Leave to Remain (Euro LTR) when this route opens after Brexit. (Guidance on how to apply is available here). There is no obligation to register if leaving the U.K. before Dec. 31, 2020, but the application will be a simple online process with ID, security and criminal checks. Successful applicants will be granted 36 months leave from the day of grant. This will provide EU citizens who move to the U.K. after Brexit, and their employers, greater confidence and certainty during the transition period, and ensure that they have a secure legal status in the U.K. before the new immigration system is introduced in January 2021; or
    • Submit an application for leave under the new immigration system before Dec. 31, 2020.

If applicants are granted Euro LTR, an application under the new immigration system will only need to be made when Euro LTR is expiring. EU/EEA citizens moving to the U.K. after Oct. 31, 2019 will be subject to tougher rules on criminality and conduct. They will also be able to accrue time spent in the U.K. towards ILR under new immigration rules after Jan. 1, 2021.

  • EU/EEA citizens traveling to the U.K. after Brexit will see no immediate changes to border-crossing procedures. These individuals will be able to use passports or ID cards, though the use of ID cards will be phased out in 2020. They will also be able to use e-gates if they have a biometric passport.
  • Non EU/EEA family members of EU/EEA citizens will be able to join EU/EEA citizens in the U.K. Spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners and dependent children under 18 will be able to join EU/EEA citizens in the U.K. and stay until Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Irish nationals will continue to enjoy the same immigration rights in the U.K. Under the Common Travel Area arrangements, Irish nationals can continue to enter, live and work in the U.K. without permission. Close family members joining them after Brexit will be able to apply for Euro LTR. If no application is made by Dec. 31, 2020, they will need to apply under the new immigration system if they wish to remain in the U.K. beyond this date.
  • U.K. nationals will be issued with blue U.K. passports from end of 2019. If they moved to the EU before Brexit, they will be able to use EU law to bring close family members with them to the U.K. (Surinder Singh rights) until March 29, 2022. If they move to the EU after Brexit, they will no longer acquire Surinder Singh rights and close family members returning with them to the U.K. will need to meet U.K. immigration rules.
  • Right to work checks (RTWC).
    • Employers can continue to accept EU/EEA passports or ID cards until Oct. 31, 2020.
    • EU/EEA citizens can chose to provide digital evidence of Euro LTR.
    • Employers will not need to distinguish between EU/EEA citizens who moved to the U.K. before or after Brexit and will not need to do RTWC retrospectively after Jan. 1, 2021.
    • Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, EU/EEA nationals will no longer be able to rely on their passport or ID card and will need to provide employers with their U.K. immigration status.

Analysis & Comments: Following significant uncertainty in the past few weeks, the immigration arrangements are welcome news for EU/EEA citizens and U.K. employers. Although frontier workers have not been mentioned, they will be able to continue traveling and working as they do now, as no immediate permission is required.

Source: Deloitte. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services. This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2019. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.