Britain is officially set to leave the European Union on April 12 unless we agree on a departure deal. If we do so, we will leave on May 22. But if we cannot agree on a deal, unless an extension can be agreed between leaders in the UK and the EU, then we will leave without one.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, had been hoping to get her Withdrawal Agreement passed by Parliament. However, so far, it has been rejected three times.
The EU is aware of this. In order to reduce the no deal Brexit consequences, it has completed its preparations and ordered EU member states to do their own. It also says it puts a no deal Brexit now at a higher possibility than ever before.
Whatever happens, the decisions made by lawmakers can have a profound and long-lasting impact on the people it affects. The UK’s decision to leave the EU was its most important since World War Two.
However, it’s still not entirely clear what will happen in the event of a no deal Brexit. What will happen with trade, for example, or the UK’s future relationship with other European countries.
Nonetheless, the Government has made clear that for EU nationals coming to the UK and those wanting to stay in the UK they will still be able to. But they will have to apply for immigration permission under something called European Temporary Leave to Remain.
European Temporary Leave to Remain: What is it?
This is an initiative that has been outlined by the Government for those wanting to come to the UK from EU, EEA and Swiss member states after April 12. It only comes into effect if we leave the EU with a no deal Brexit.
It enables EU citizens to enjoy the rights they can currently do under free movement rules: they can come to live, work and study. But it only lasts for a maximum period of three years. It cannot be extended.
After that, an EU citizen who wants to stay in the UK will have to apply under the new immigration rules system. This is due to come into effect on 1 January 2021. You will have to meet the criteria to be allowed to stay. If you don’t, you will be asked to leave.
European Temporary Leave to Remain: Who is eligible?
All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who arrive in the UK after April 12 are eligible. Irish citizens do not need to apply. If you are an Irish citizen you can stay in the UK in the event of a no deal Brexit because of rules under the Common Travel Area (CTA). This permits free movement around the UK, Republic of Ireland and the Crown Dependencies (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man).
All non-EU, non-EEA and non-Swiss close family members of those who do come can also come with them. A close family member is defined as a spouse, partner or dependant child who is under the age of 18. The non-Irish, non-British dependants of Irish citizens will also have to apply under this scheme as they do not qualify for free movement under the CTA.
Be aware that you will not be allowed to apply for this scheme if you are a persistent or serious criminal. Or, you pose a threat to the UK’s national security.
If you are an EU citizen who is coming to the UK after April 12 but you’ve previously lived here for at least a year, you may be eligible to stay indefinitely under a separate arrangement called the EU Settlement Scheme.
European Temporary Leave to Remain: How do you apply?
To apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain, you first need to consider how long you want to be in the UK for.
If you’re planning just to visit or work and study for less than three months, you will not need to make an application.
However, for any stays longer than twelve weeks, you will need to.
The scheme will open in the event of a no deal Brexit. The application process will be executed online.
You will need to apply within three months of coming to the UK. You will get the three years leave from the date it is granted.
European Temporary Leave to Remain: What happens next?
Despite triggering Article 50 over two years ago, the UK still remains an EU member state. This means for now free movement rules still apply.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. Legally, the UK is due to leave the EU on April 12. Theresa May is clear she wants to leave with a deal. But, as has already been said, she has been unable to get her own Withdrawal Agreement through the House of Commons.
If she remains unable to do so, she will have three options: to request an extension from the EU prior to April 12 so we continue to remain a member state, revoke the exit process so we remain an EU member state unconditionally, or leave on April 12 with a no deal Brexit.
If the third option was to happen, then the European Temporary Leave to Remain will be activated. The process for applying will then begin.
European Temporary Leave to Remain: How we can help
If you’re worried about what a Brexit no deal might mean for you and your family or you are confused about the European Temporary Leave to Remain process, we can help! The Immigration Advice Service is made up of a team of experienced and expert immigration lawyers. So, what is an immigration lawyer? We provide help and advice on any immigration and asylum matters you have – including those on a no deal Brexit. Get in touch today by phoning one of our team on 0333 305 4846 or completing an online enquiry.