The UK government has agreed with the European Union about the rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK after Brexit, with reciprocal protection for UK nationals living in the EU.
The deal ensures that EU citizens who are lawfully living and working in the UK at the time of the UK’s departure from the EU can stay, and close family members will also be able to join them.
Rights to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK will remain the same.
EU citizens who arrived in the UK before March 29, 2019, and have lived in the UK for five years will be able to apply for ‘settled status’ which will allow them to stay indefinitely. Those who have not yet reached five years’ residency in the UK will be able to apply for temporary residence status until they meet the five-year threshold, after which they can apply for settled status.
All family members who are living with, or will join EU citizens by March 29, 2019, will also be able to apply for settled status after five years in the UK.
Close family members will still be able to join their families in the UK after this date.
EU citizens who wish to remain in the UK after Brexit can apply for their new status through a new streamlined application scheme, due to launch in late 2018, although they will be able to live and work in the UK until March 29, 2021, without making any applications.