The future of EU workers and entrepreneurs post-Brexit revealed

Business owners and employees who have lived in the UK for at least five years will be able to apply for permanent residency

The future status of EU workers and business owners in post-Brexit Britain has been revealed by the government.

Announced via the gov website, EU business owners and employees who have lived in the UK for at least five years will be able to apply for permanent residency or “settled status”.

If their application is accepted, foreign-born residents will be able to stay and live in the UK for an indefinite period – enjoying the same rights, services and privileges as British citizens.

Persons who have arrived in the UK before the ‘cut off point’, which won’t be earlier than 9 March 2017 (the date Article 50 was triggered) or later than the date the UK officially leaves the EU, but who haven’t been living here for five years can only apply for permanent residency once they have reached the five-year threshold.

Entrepreneurs or workers who arrive in the UK after this ‘cut off point’ will need to apply for UK residency once the UK has left officially left the EU.

Family dependants who are living with or join EU citizens before the UK’s exit will also be able to apply for settled status after five years in the UK, with the cut-off date not applying in this case.

Its believed the application process for permanent residency will be available online – though it has not yet been revealed whether or not this will incur a cost for the user.

Current EU citizens will be advised to contact the Home Office for necessary documentation to confirm their new status, with the application system expected to be up an running by 2018.

A period of grace, yet to be decided upon be likely to be under two years, will also be extended to applicants who have yet to receive required documentation once the UK leaves the EU.

Though a new immigration system has yet to be decided upon, the government has ensured small businesses will be “given the opportunity to contribute their views” on the matter.

If you’re a EU entrepreneur or a business owner currently employing EU citizens, the new report has confirmed you don’t have to take any extra steps at present – as there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK before Brexit has been completed.

In a statement, prime minister Theresa May said that she expects other EU member states to afford British citizens, currently elsewhere in the European Union, the same rights as EU nationals living in the UK post-Brexit:

“The UK fully expects that the EU and its member states will ensure, in a reciprocal way, that the rights set out above are similarly protected for UK nationals living across the EU before the specified date.

“Firstly, UK nationals in the EU must be able to attain a right equivalent to settled status in the country in which they reside.

“Secondly, they must be able to continue to access benefits and services across the member states akin to the way in which they do now.”

For more information on the rights of EU nationals post-Brexit, click here.

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