Citizens Rights – administrative procedures in the UK after Brexit

A policy paper has been released that details administrative procedures to support the UK’s proposals for the application system for EU citizens obtaining settled status in the UK following Brexit. In this document, sent to the European Commission as part of the negotiations, the Government reiterates how the new system will be streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly, with EU citizens consulted on its design.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/citizens-rights-administrative-procedures-in-the-uk

The UK will be bound by the obligations set out in the Withdrawal Agreement as a matter of international law. The citizens’ rights chapter of this Agreement will be incorporated in UK law, which means that the UK authorities will be required to confer the status and rights defined in the Withdrawal Agreement upon those EU citizens and their family members who fall within its scope, and EU citizens will be able to enforce their rights on that basis. In the UK, the route for individuals to obtain this status will be by application to the UK authorities, made within a period of time after exit as specified by the UK authorities. Obtaining this status will be a condition for lawful residence in the UK and enable these people to easily prove their unique status and rights, as guaranteed by the Agreement, to the UK authorities, employers, public service providers and others, in a convenient way in the future

A letter was also issued explaining the purpose of the document

Today, the Government has set out further details of how the new settled status scheme for EU citizens and their family members will operate as the UK leaves the EU. In a technical document sent to the European Commission as part of the negotiations, the Government reiterates how the new system will be streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly, with EU citizens consulted on its design.

EU citizens applying to stay in the UK after Brexit will have plenty of time, up to two years after the UK has left the EU, to obtain settled status. Those applying to stay in the UK after we leave the EU will not have their applications refused on minor technicalities and caseworkers considering applications will exercise discretion where appropriate. The new system will minimise the documentary evidence required and EU citizens will not be required to provide fingerprints as part of the application process.

Decisions will be based solely on the criteria set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, with no discretion for other reasons for refusal. EU citizens will also be given a statutory right of appeal, in line with their current rights through the Free Movement Directive, if their application is unsuccessful.

The Prime Minister has been clear that safeguarding the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals in Europe is the first priority for negotiations and she said last month that an agreement is within touching distance.

Negotiation between the UK and EU is continuing and the next talks will take place this week on 9 and 10 November. We will continue to keep you updated on further progress.

The document is available at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/657694/TECHNICAL_NOTE_CITIZENS__RIGHTS_-_ADMINISTRATIVE_PROCEDURES_IN_THE_UK.pdf (pdf)