To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the policy paper, The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union: safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU published on 26 June 2017, what eligibility criteria will be required for EU nationals seeking settled status beyond five years of continued residency in the UK; and when those requirements will need to be met.
10 July 2017
The Government’s policy paper (Cm 9464), which was laid before Parliament on 26 June, sets out our proposals that EU citizens who arrive in the UK before the specified date and have five years’ continuous residence in the UK will be able to apply for UK settled status.
We will publish further detail on the specifics of the new application process for settled status, including detailed eligibility criteria, in due course. Regarding eligibility of time spent in the Crown Dependencies, this will also be specified in due course, but there is precedent in the Immigration Rules for counting time spent in the Crown Dependencies towards UK settlement when leave in the Crown Dependencies has been granted on a broadly equivalent basis as leave in the UK.
The specified “cut-off” date before which EU citizens must have been resident in the UK in order to qualify for settled status is a matter for negotiations with our European partners as part of delivering a reciprocal agreement. We are clear that the parameters are not earlier than the date we triggered Article 50 (29 March 2017), and no later than the date we leave the EU.
We will be establishing a new application process for EU citizens looking to secure settled status in the UK. Fees and charges are being considered as part of the negotiations. Our aim is to offer a streamlined and high quality service for everyone, keeping any fees at a reasonable level.
All EU citizens and their families who are resident in the UK before exit, regardless of when they arrived, will, on the UK’s exit, have a grace period, which will be specified, but which we expect to be up to two years. During this period, they which they need to obtain an immigration status in UK law in order to be able to remain lawfully in the UK. In due course, EU nationals may be required to produce a residence document for specified purposes, as evidence of their entitlement to work, access benefits and services.