EU Citizens after Brexit
Iain's blog from 3 May 2019.
I was awoken in the early hours of Wednesday by two cats demanding to be let out, so I opened the bedroom window, grumpily, and went back to sleep. All was well until, at 5am, one of them bounded through the window and landed on the bed, proudly holding a large (live) mouse in his jaws. I was clearly supposed to admire it and, displaying commendable patience, did so, but I also asked the said cat to relocate himself complete with his mouse. At this point the mouse broke free and I spent some minutes attempting to capture and evict the rodent in question, whilst two excited tomcats and one wife issued helpful advice to me.
Anyway, now wide awake, I headed off to Inverness with two colleagues to attend a training course on the law and processes relating to EU citizens who wish to remain in the UK after Brexit (if indeed there is a Brexit). As you will understand, there are going to be challenges – and I think they will be numerous – not just for the many people from Europe whom we have welcomed to the County, but also for Caithness folk who live and work in Europe. You will understand that this is pretty complex so this article will only cover the basics, but we do have everything you need to know readily to hand.
The position is starting to become clearer. In brief, if you are an EU citizen living in Scotland, or a Scot living in Europe, then you currently do so on the basis of “rights”. After Brexit you will do so on a “permission” basis. If you have resided for five continuous years (with some permitted breaks) then you need to apply for “Settled Status” and, if less than five years, then one needs “Pre-Settled Status”. As a matter of interest we have had cases where people have lived in Scotland for decades, but they still need to apply.
Now, there is no need to become unduly distressed because CCAB are on the case and we will advise and assist in the process. What we need is for people who want help to get in touch with us and we will arrange for an Adviser to process your application(s). There is of course no cost from CCAB and – happily – HMG have decided to cancel their proposed charge. As always, I am cautious and would suggest that you apply as soon as possible. You will need to prove Identity (who you are); Residence (continuous residence in the UK) and Suitability (any evidence of criminality etc can cause issues). This is a learning curve for us as well, but we have acquired electronic / digital links to The Home Office and we can upload scans of your Passport / National ID Card / Biometric Residence Card plus Passport Chip data, along with a facial scan and photo and evidential documents, directly. Electronic confirmation of a successful application is available right away and we are currently looking at about 9 days to get a decision.
From our experience so far we have found that it is advantageous to have everything to hand before we start the application. We will need your ID docs / Council Tax Bills / National Insurance Number, and any other supporting documents to provide the required evidence. All will be well, so please get in touch – CCAB are ready to help