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iWorld / News / United Kingdom

Documents for residence in the EU will be invalid from July 2021

March 31, 2021

1 minute read

The United Kingdom exited the European Union on January 31, 2020, and the post-Brexit phase ended almost a year later. Despite this long period of time, certain articles of the EU law on free movement are still in force, but will soon be terminated. The former permits to stay in the European Union (permanent residence cards, UK residence cards and derivative residence cards) are only active until June 30, 2021. After that date, the " privileged period" will come to an end.

The authorities have replaced the listed documents for obtaining residency in England with pre-determined and permanent status. However, residence permits are not automatically granted to foreigners. Holders of the EU residence card must apply for a new status by June 30 this year.

The situation of residents, who do not have time to replace their EU residence documents

According to the EU law on free movement, representatives of European Economic Area (EEA) countries and their relatives can apply for documents for permanent residence in the UK. In this case, the applicant must stay in England for at least 5 years. Family members of applicants who are outside the EEA may apply for a UK residence card or a derived residence card if they have been in the UK for less than 5 years. The mentioned documents prove that they are legally staying in the UK - according to the EEA Regulations 2016.

EU residence documents will no longer be valid after the Free Movement Act ends on June 30, 2021. Holders of old residence permits in England will actually be in the state illegally. This residency status is due to the Citizens' Rights Regulations 2020 and the Immigration Act 2020. The designated protocols repeal the EEA rules and the effect of the European Union's free stay regulation in the UK.

What do I need to do to stay legally in the UK?

Holders of European Community Residence Cards who want to continue their stay in England must submit an application to the EU Settlement Scheme. By doing so, the resident will confirm his or her presence in the UK until June 30, 2021. Holders of permanent residence permits can replace their documents with full settlement status.

Foreigners with a residence card and a derived residency card can also apply for permanent residency, provided they have been in the UK for 5 years. If applicants have been in the country for less than this period, the authorities are prepared to grant them pre-settlement status. Admission of applications to the EU Settlement Program for UK residents closes on June 30, 2021. To remain in the United Kingdom, immigrants must apply for a change of status in the state as soon as possible.

It will not be necessary for a foreigner to obtain permanent status if they have already been issued a British passport before June 30. Applicants can still apply for English citizenship with a permanent residency document. However, the authorities are not likely to make a decision about an applicant before June 30, because of delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under U.K. immigration law, an immigrant will not receive specific residency rights simply by applying for citizenship in the country. Permanent resident status is mandatory even for those, who claim English citizenship and hold a permanent residency document. If an alien does not apply for a change of status by June 30, they face the risk of being among the illegal immigrants, waiting for proof of citizenship.

Resident failed to apply: what is the result?

The period for applying expires on June 30, 2020. The British authorities understand that thousands of EEA residents and their non-EEA relatives, who do not participate in the EU Settlement Scheme, will remain in the state. The British government has not yet decided how to deal with the large number of illegal immigrants.

Perhaps, the British government will extend the period of validity of EU residence documents beyond June 30, so that more people, who are interested in legal stay, will be able to apply. Although this is only a guess: the government strongly recommends that deadlines for applications be considered.

Consequently, any EEA nationals and their relatives who intend to reside in England after June 30, 2021, must apply for the Settlement Scheme or British citizenship. Otherwise, immigrants will face a hostile environment for illegal immigrants in the UK.

Source: Free Movement

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