EU Referendum FAQ. June Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

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1 EU Referendum FAQ June Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

2 On 23 June 2016 the public voted in favour of leaving the European Union. The result has many implications for the UK, not least raising a number of questions for EU nationals already living here. This FAQ Sheet has been produced by Fragomen Worldwide immediately after the referendum result. Where possible, we have based our answers on current law and practice. We urge readers to remember that at this stage our assumptions remain educated guesses, rather than certain facts. This FAQ Sheet is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice.

3 Assumptions EU nationals living in the UK and people with EU friends and family members will be concerned about what the referendum result means for them. The UK is unlikely to leave the EU immediately. The formal separation may take at least two years. Free movement to the UK may come to an end for EU nationals. Likewise, free movement is likely to end for UK nationals travelling to and from the EU. We do not expect those EU nationals already here to be asked to leave but they may need to register their residency in the UK, if only to evidence lawful status when travelling through UK ports. A revised immigration system will be introduced to accommodate both skilled and unskilled workers based on the Australian style points based system.

4 EU NATIONALS LIVING IN THE UK 1 WILL I BE ASKED TO LEAVE THE UK? The government is unlikely to insist on the departure of EU nationals already living in the UK. We are not aware of any major political party suggesting that people already established in the UK will not be able to stay. 2 SHOULD I APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY OR BRITISH CITIZENSHIP? A registration scheme may be introduced for EU nationals already living in the UK, to evidence their right to work or enter the country. Currently there is no formal requirement for EU nationals to apply for permanent residency. Permanent residency is status acquired automatically by operation of law if the criteria are met; it is not conferred or granted by the British authorities but by automatic operation of EU law. From 12 November 2015, EU nationals and their family members must first apply for a permanent residence card before applying to naturalise as a British citizen. We recognise that some EU nationals may now wish to regularise their stay by applying for permanent residency or citizenship where eligible.

5 3 WHO CAN APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY? EU nationals who have resided in the UK for five years whilst working, studying, job seeking or being self sufficient may apply for permanent residence. Family members here may also qualify. 4 HOW LONG WOULD THE APPLICATION TAKE AND WOULD I BE ABLE TO TRAVEL DURING THAT PERIOD? Applications for permanent residence currently take four to six months to be decided by the UKVI. Processing times are likely to increase following the referendum result as application volumes spike. The UKVI do not offer a priority or accelerated application process. If, however, you enclose a certified copy of your passport with your application and subsequently request the return of the original, the UKVI should send your original passport back to you so you can travel whilst the application is under review.

6 5 WHO CAN APPLY FOR BRITISH CITIZENSHIP? EU nationals who have held permanent residence for 12 months may apply for British citizenship, once they have a permanent residence card. EU nationals married to a British citizen may apply for British citizenship as soon as they obtain their permanent residence card. 6 WHAT ABOUT MY NON-EU FAMILY MEMBERS? This element is currently unclear as no express statements have been made about the status of non-eu family members of EU nationals in the event of a Leave vote.

7 UK NATIONALS LIVING IN THE EU 7 WILL I BE ASKED TO LEAVE THE EU? Although no express statements have yet been made, we consider it probable that British nationals settled in EU countries will be permitted to stay, although this is subject to the terms upon which the UK s exit is negotiated. British nationals who qualify for nationality of an EEA state may wish to consider assuming dual nationality (where permissible) to preserve free movement within the EEA area.

8 EU NATIONALS MOVING TO THE UK IN THE FUTURE 8 WHEN WILL FREE MOVEMENT END? Most commentators expect the formal separation of the UK and EU to take at least two years. The Prime Minister has suggested it may take as long as ten years. It is probable that the free movement of EU nationals in the UK (and UK nationals in the EU) will continue until the date of separation. 9 WILL I NEED A VISA? The Leave campaign, which led the stance to leave the EU, frequently suggested that a revised immigration system based on the Australian style points based system should be introduced for all EU and non-eu nationals. This new immigration framework would replace the free movement of EU nationals and the existing points based system for non-eu nationals. It is still not clear whether this new system will be adopted by the government, although it seems more likely than not, given the attention the proposal received during the election. Again, this could take a significant period of time to be implemented. For now the government should confirm that the system will be fair, transparent and flexible enough to help businesses fill skills gaps and attract the talented migrant workers the UK needs to supplement its own skilled workers.

9 WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR EU NATIONAL EMPLOYEES Is your Employee an EU National? Yes No Have they worked in UK for the last 5 continuous years? No Do they have an EU national spouse? Yes Have they spent any time in UK under a different status? Refer to Fragomen for tailored advice Do they hold a Permanent Residence card? They may be eligible to apply for a Registration Certificate under Form EEA (QP) Yes No They may be eligible to apply to naturalise as a British citizen after holding permanent residency for 12 months or can apply immediately if married to a British Citizen. They may be eligible to submit a Permanent Residency Application under Form EEA (PR)

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