27 October 2019
Changes to Settlement/Pre-settlement scheme Directives
On 24 October, the Minister of State, Mr. Brandon Lewis, laid out before the UK Parliament new changes relating to the rights and applications of EEA and Swiss citizens.
These changes take the specific concern to the issue Pre-settlement and Settlement application schemes which have been accessible since March 2019 as a means of preventing uncertainty for the more than 3 million EU citizens currently residing in the UK for work and family reasons – this according to the Migration Observatory.
In Case of “NO DEAL” BREXIT – EU nationals – and their families – who are already living in the UK before 31 October 2019 will have until the end of 2020 to apply to one of the EU Settlement Schemes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
In Case of a “DEAL” BREXIT, EU nationals – and their families – who are already living in the UK before 31 October 2019 will have until the end of December 2021 to apply to one of the EU Settlement Schemes.
Criminality and conduct thresholds – Securing the borders against EEA national Criminals entering the UK
As per the Minister’s statement, New Higher Criminality and conduct thresholds to both the pre-exit and post-exit conduct of EEA citizens and family members will now be applicable, while thresholds will also apply to post-exit conduct of EEA citizens living in the UK prior to Brexit.
The issue of free movement will cease to exist, thereby enforcing the newly established border and Immigration controls.
EURO – Temporary Leave to Remain
With regard to the coveted EU settlement scheme, Temporary Leave to Remain will be granted to those who apply before January 2021 for close family members, can join by 29 March 2022, and 31 December 2020 for other relevant family members.
Mr. Lewis’ is preparing to introduce a new fairer immigration system and start to take back control of British borders.
UK Points-based Immigration system
The Minister also confirmed that a new Points-based immigration system is to start by the end of January 2021, thereby effectively ending EU citizen’s free movement rights.
In an attempt to calm critics’ observations that these new directives have been put in place as a means of making the application process less accessible, the Home Office released a statement declaring that, “We have received two million applications and are looking for reasons to grant status, not refuse, and EU citizens have until at least December 2020 to apply,” – BBC 10 October 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-50003563.
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