Are you EU Compliant?
You would have to be living under a rock to not know about the upcoming EU Referendum on the 23rd June 2016. With the most recent polls revealing 51% are in favour of remaining in the EU, the future lives of EU citizens are balancing on a knife edge.
The uncertainty of Britain’s place in Europe has left many EU citizens living in the UK wondering what will happen to their place in the UK if a Brexit goes ahead.
The Pitfalls of Applying for Citizenship
Last November the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that immigration from the EU
as of June 2015 was at 265,000; this not an insignificant figure and shows a British exit from the EU could affect hundreds of thousands of people in the UK.
For EEA nationals who have long since been enjoying the fundamental EU principle of free movement the prospect of this being threatened is causing a dash for citizenship applications.
The EEA Regulations 2006 allow an EU citizen (and their family members) to come to the UK as long as they are a ‘qualified person’. A qualified person is an EU citizen who is living in the UK as one of the following:
- A worker
- A student
- A self-employed person
- A self-sufficient person
- A jobseeker
What many EU citizens do not realise, however, is that the EEA Regulations 2006 place some conditions on what a qualified person is. As an example, an EU student must not only be enrolled in education, they must also have comprehensive sickness insurance. Without the insurance, they are not a qualified person. Some EU countries are (or have been) bound by a workers registration scheme.
This means that thousands of EU citizens and/or their family members are unknowingly living in the UK illegally. This comes as a nasty shock if they have lived in the UK for a number of years and wish to obtain permanent residence or British citizenship.
With the EU Referendum in the not-so-distant future, ensuring that you are complying with the EEA Regulations 2006 has never been more important. To apply for British citizenship, applicants must meet the rules. Applying for British citizenship is expensive and getting it wrong the first time can have serious financial consequences.
Simpson Millar's Immigration Law Experts
Our Immigration Law team specialise in supporting EEA nationals and their family members with all types of immigration applications and any issues faced along the way; we can support you with family permits, residence cards and applications for citizenship.
Our nationwide experts have proven expertise supporting EEA nationals and are also pleased to be working with our Polish department to provide immigration advice for Polish speakers. We know that navigating an unfamiliar legal system can be tough - legal advice in your own language makes things all the more simple and straightforward for you.