Brexit and EU citizens

Ealing is home to people from all over the world who make a huge contribution to the community and this includes around 55,000 people from other countries in the European Union. Following the UK vote to leave the European Union (EU) in the referendum on 23 June 2016, there has been some uncertainty about the future rights for people from other EU countries, including their right to remain in the UK.

Ealing Council believes diversity is one of the boroughs greatest strengths and wants to protect the rights of all its residents, including EU citizens. 

In April 2018 Ealing councillors voted to support all EU citizens in the borough and wants to assure them that they are valued and welcome in Ealing. The council has written to the government asking it to guarantee EU citizens’ rights, in the event of a hard Brexit, or any other circumstances. The council has also asked the government to give all UK citizens the final say on any Brexit deal.

The full impact of Britain exiting the European Union upon EU Citizens living in the UK will not be known until the negotiations between the UK and the EU are completed. Individual circumstances will vary and in some circumstances residents adversely affected by Brexit may benefit from seeking independent legal advice. Additional information is also available on GOV.UK

Current situation for people from countries in the European Union

The rights of EU Citizens and their family members to live and work in the UK will remain the same until the UK leaves the EU.

The government has said it intends to protect the rights of EU Citizens living in the UK after Brexit. However, this is subject to negotiations with the European Union and a final Brexit deal being reached.

The UK government has advised that there is no need for EU Citizens to apply for a permanent residence document now. A new scheme will be available for EU citizens and their family members to apply to stay in the UK after it leaves the EU. The criteria for this scheme will be decided by the Home Office at a later date and it may be necessary for affected residents to seek independent legal advice.

When the UK leaves the EU and subject to any grace periods the government imposes, all EU citizens and their families in the UK will need to obtain an immigration status in UK Law. This is currently proposed to be either a residency document, settled status or citizenship. The immigration status you can apply for will be subject to your individual circumstances and meeting certain requirements, which will be specified in due course by the Home Office.

Further information

Find more information about exiting the EU and UK residence, or to register with the Home Office in order to receive information updates on GOV.UK 

As has been the case prior to the referendum, if you are an extended family member from the European Economic Area (EEA), or a Swiss person and are not qualified in your own right, you can apply for a registration certificate. View the online application or paper application

The European Commission has provided some useful frequently asked questions and answers regarding the rights of EU Citizens in the UK.

To find an immigration advisor or solicitor near you who can provide independent legal advice, visit the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) or the Law Society.