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European Union Law

Nationals of the member states of the European Union benefit from more favourable provisions of immigration law than nationals of other countries. 

It is important to realize, however, that not all EU nationals are in the same position – in some cases there are special provisions. 

  • Nationals of European Union Member States: The EEA (European Economic Area) includes all EU states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and, for immigration purposes, Switzerland. Since 1 January 2014, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals are also included without restrictions. Nationals of Croatia, the most recent member of the European Union, can since 1 July 2018, work within the UK without limitations. 
  • Although Turkey is not a Member State of the European Union its nationals can benefit from European Community Association Agreements (ECAA) between the European Union and Turkey. 

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Hartley Bain has many years of experience in European cases and cases under the Association Agreements. Contact us to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your case.

Important note:  Following the triggering of Article 50 on 29 March 2017 there is now a two-year period for the UK and EU to complete negotiations. Until the date that the UK exits the EU, the status and rights of EU nationals, plus nationals of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland remain the same.

The UK are proposing a cut-off date which will be no earlier than 29 March 2017 and no later than the date the UK leaves the EU. Depending on whether EU nationals entered before or after this date, and how long they have been in the UK, will determine what status they will have in the UK going forwards. For EU nationals who have entered the UK after the cut-off date the Home Office will be introducing a new immigration scheme specifically for them. This offer is expected to be extended to resident nationals of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Irish nationals however will not need to apply for any new status as the rights of British and Irish citizens in each other’s countries are rooted in the Ireland Act 1949.

From the date that the UK leaves the UK there will be a grace period of up to two years in which EU nationals and their families will be able to apply for and receive a residence document under the new immigration scheme. Any EU nationals who do not receive a document confirming their new immigration status by the end of this period will no longer have permission to remain in the UK.

For more information regarding the current proposals from the UK regarding the proposed status, or if you have any queries or concerns about this process, please contact a member of our team.

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