With Brexit being only a few months away, UK government has only just finished the first round of trials of the new ‘settled-status’ application process.
Meanwhile, the scheme has been subject to harsh criticism from numerous non-governmental groups for its lack of clarity and apparent ease with which the Home Office will be able to remove the most vulnerable EU nationals for even minor acts of noncompliance with EU Treaties. Unsurprisingly, this has recently resulted in a legal challenge against the British state, lodged with the High Court by The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI).
Mr Chai Patel, Legal Policy Director of the JCWI, saying: “We’re now in a system where it’s a lottery that depends on the Home Office and whether they pick you up or not”.
Sadly, MLC Immigration Lawyers cannot disagree with Mr Patel, having experienced first-hand how broad discretionary powers have been used over the last few years under the ‘hostile environment’ policy.
Does one need to passively await the High Court’s verdict then, in the hope to avoid the negative consequences of Brexit for their immigration situation? Not quite. While the UK remains an EU Member State, it is still possible safeguard against many of the risks involved in the ‘settled-status’ application process and apply for a document under current EEA Regulations 2016.
Holders of EU permanent residence cards and certificates are much more likely to avoid extensive examination of their circumstances as they will be only required to replace their pre-Brexit immigration document with the new one. Furthermore, those who have lived in the UK for too short a period to qualify for permanent residence today, can still apply for a registration certificate or a 5-year residence card, which will help them proof their eligibility for leave to remain in anticipation of their ‘settled status’.
Last but not least, if you are an EU national and your non-EU family members are currently living overseas, this may be the last call for them to successfully apply to join you in the UK and subsequently apply for leave to remain post-Brexit.
At MLC Immigration Lawyers, we have an outstanding track record of applications on behalf of EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals – and their family members. Understanding the intricacies of EU law and its transposition in the UK on the one hand, and the unique situation of each and every applicant on the other, we have secured EU residence documentation for dozens of UK residents.
Unfortunately, before instructing us a great proportion of our clients have been refused – sometimes multiple times – owing to the Home Office’s often controversial interpretation of EU law. Yet, it needs to be stressed that even a few previous refusals do not bar you or your family members from having your immigration status recognised under EEA Regulations.
If you’d like to speak to one of our expert lawyers on this, or any related matter, then please Contact Us today.
Mr Aleksandser Bucholski
Immigration Caseworker and Lawyer
MLC Immigration Lawyers