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EEA Laws | Free Movement Rights | Brexit 2016

EEA Laws & Brexit

As the Brexit policy is now in force, the EEA Regulations will soon be removed and EEA nationals must now come under the Immigration Rules, which is known as the EEA Settlement Scheme. The new Immigration Rules are enabled by the Immigration Act 1971 and will form an immigration decision. 

The United Kingdom and European Union have reached an agreement at European Council on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s withdrawal from the European Union. The revised Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration were considered and agreed at European Council on 17 October 2019.

We anticipate that the EEA Settlement Scheme to be phased down, as this provision has only been created to allow the transitional period until all EEA nationals and their family members migrate over to the immigration policy in full. 

History of EEA Laws

The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 which have now been mostly repealed and superseded by the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 was a piece of British legislation which implemented the right of free movement of EEA nationals and their family members in the United Kingdom. It is based on Directive 2004/38/EC.

The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 permits EEA nationals and their family members to acquire residency in the UK which also includes permanent residency. The policy is now moved into the Immigration Rules, enabled by the Immigration Act 1971. 

EEA Settlement Scheme

The new scheme is now part of the Immigration Rules. This allows a person to apply for pre-settled status or settled status. You can find more information by clicking here

Application process of the EEA Settlement Scheme

As the UKVI have moved to the digital platforms, you can apply for your pre-settled status or settled status online. The application route must be chosen carefully to avoid completing the wrong application, which can lead to the applications being rejected. Once the application route is chosen, the UKVI digital platforms create the application with questions designed and dictated by your answers. 

Decisions under the EEA Settlement Scheme, can take around 8-12 weeks, but those differ, as all applications are considered case by case. In some cases, the Home Office may request you to submit further evidences and information. 

Future relationship between the UK and the EU

As the UK Government continues to negotiate the entire policies which include trade, travel, immigration to name some, we see a continued changes and these could last decades. The UK’s relationship with EU will be maintained, so in terms of immigration policies, it would have to reflect that relationship. 

The aim of the relationship with the EU will remain on a friendly cooperative relationship and the sharing of data & resources. The UK governments will work hard to achieve a balanced agreement that is in the interests of both sides, reflecting the wide range of shared interests.

Any agreement must respect the sovereignty of both parties and the autonomy of our legal orders. It cannot therefore include any regulatory alignment, any jurisdiction for the CJEU over the UK’s laws, or any supranational control in any area, including the UK’s borders and immigration policy.

Taking legal advice on the application of the Brexit policy & EEA Regulations

As we move away from the EEA Regulations, making sure that an application under EEA Settlement Scheme must be applied. You will also be asked to provide the correct information and evidences to support your application. 

We at ICS Legal will provide guidance and correct advice on which route to apply under the EEA Settlement Scheme and we find this is essential when considering living & working in the UK. You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or you can email us at info@icslegal.com

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