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Employers should be aware that EU nationals coming to work in the UK from 1 January 2021 will require permission to work under the new immigration system that comes into force from that date. EU employees already in the UK or coming to the UK before 31 December 2020 will be able to take advantage of the free-to-apply EU Settlement Scheme. A successful application will allow the employee to live and work in the UK for a temporary five year period or permanently, dependent on their application qualifying criteria.

So, what does this mean for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens

As a Brexit deal has been agreed in principle with the EU, the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021. Those EU citizens and their family members who are resident in the UK before 11pm on 31 December of this year and will be subject to the EU Settlement scheme.

This settlement scheme allows current EU citizens in the UK to apply for settlement. They will either be granted pre settled status if they have been in the UK for less than 5 years or they will be granted settled status if they have been in the UK for 5 years of more. This application must be applied for by the citizen themselves using an online app which is very straight forward and should only take 20 minutes to complete. We strongly recommend all employers to review their EU workforce and encourage the EU citizen to apply for this status. They will have until 30th June 2021 to apply.

We would also recommend employers to review up and coming assignments, and if any EU members are being planned to be relocated to the UK on assignment early next year, try to take advantage of the EU settlement scheme which is free and see if this can be brough forward before the end of this year.

Read more about the EU Settlement Scheme

Family members 

To be classified as a close family member of an EU citizen you must be either a spouse or civil partner or related to them. The relations that are accepted under this provision are of a child or grandchild who is either under the age of 21 years old, or if they are dependent on the EU citizen. Parents and grandparents can also apply if they are dependent on the EU citizen.

Close family members can join an EU citizen resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 and apply under the same EU Settlement Scheme. Any family member joining the EU citizen after the 31st December 2020 will be subject to different immigrations rules.

After 31st December 2020

The Government has unveiled details of its plans for immigration reforms which will introduce a new points-based immigration system from 1st January 2021.
Read more about the new points based system

We are here to help in any way we can

Should you need any additional information, consultation, or guidance, please do contact us as we would be delighted to assist you.

Additionally, if you would like to have a virtual coffee with any of our advisory or immigration experts, please contact us we would be happy to arrange this.

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