The withdrawal agreement reached between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) in January 2020 has far-reaching implications for EU citizens residing in the UK and British citizens residing in the EU. As a professional, it is important to understand the key provisions of the agreement and how it affects the rights of EU citizens.
Under the withdrawal agreement, EU citizens who are already living in the UK before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) can remain in the UK and maintain their existing rights. These rights include the right to work, study, and access healthcare, among others. This means that EU citizens who have been living and working in the UK for years will be able to continue to do so without disruption.
The agreement also provides for a new scheme called the EU Settlement Scheme, which allows EU citizens who arrive in the UK before the end of the transition period to apply for settled status. This means that they can continue to live and work in the UK permanently, provided they meet certain criteria. To be eligible for settled status, EU citizens must have been living in the UK continuously for five years, or else they may be eligible for pre-settled status, which allows them to stay for up to five years.
The withdrawal agreement also provides for the protection of certain family members of EU citizens. This includes spouses, civil partners, and children who are under 21 years old. Family members of EU citizens who are living in the UK will also be eligible for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
It is important to note that the withdrawal agreement does not cover future immigration arrangements between the UK and the EU. This means that EU citizens who arrive in the UK after the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) may not have the same rights as those who arrived before.
Overall, the withdrawal agreement provides some reassurance for EU citizens who are currently living in the UK. It allows them to maintain their existing rights and provides a pathway to settled status for those who arrive before the end of the transition period. However, there are still many uncertainties about what the future holds for EU citizens and their rights in the UK, and it will be important to stay up-to-date with any changes that may occur in the coming months and years. As a professional, it is important to ensure that any content related to this topic is accurate and up-to-date in order to provide the most helpful information to readers.