Brexit: EU Nationals in the UK

Brexit talks started on 19 June 2017. One of the first announcements made was about the immigration rights of the EU nationals in the UK. Under the EU Treaty regime EU nationals in the UK were exempt from UK immigration rules and immigration control. This is set to change with the announcement made by the Home Office to the EU nationals on 26 June 2017.

Here we summarise the main features:

1. What is a settled status?

We have noticed the immediate reaction of the affected citizens, as they could not grasp the newly introduced concept of the ‘settled status’.

The new rules state that EU nationals who have been continuously living in the UK for 5 years will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting ‘settled status’. This means that these EU nationals will be free to live in the UK, have access to public funds and services and apply for British citizenship.

The Home Office chose to use ‘settled status’ instead of ‘permanent residence’ because ‘settled status’ is a term used in the UK immigration rules, while ‘permanent residence’ is a legal concept derived under the EU law.

Therefore, the Home Office is making a clear distinction and clearly brings EU nationals within the scope of the UK immigration rules. EU nationals who have already applied for permanent residence and had their status confirmed will have to apply for the ‘settled status’.

2. What is a cut-off date?

The cut-off date is used to describe the date when the EU Treaty rights end and the new UK immigration rules apply to the EU nationals and their family members in the UK.

The cut-off date is currently not clearly set, but can fall between 29 March 2017 and 29 March 2019, depending on the progress in Brexit negotiations.

It is projected that EU nationals and their family members will be able to apply for the settled status before the 5 years of continuous residence before the cut-off date is met.

3. When do the new rules are set to apply?

In 2018, before the UK leaves the EU, a new application system will be set that will enable EU nationals and their family members to apply for the UK settled status.

Previously, there was no formal requirement for the EU nationals and their family members to apply for a residence document in the UK. However, under the new UK regime, such a requirement is mandatory. The new residence document will prove the EU national’s right to live and work in the UK.

4. Grace period

A grace period will be granted for EU nationals after the UK leaves the EU. This means that the EU nationals will not be required to leave the UK before they obtain required residence document. The grace period is currently estimated to last for up to 2 years after the UK leaves the EU. If the residence document is not obtained by the end of this period, then EU nationals and their family members concerned will no longer have a legal right to remain in the UK.

Citizens arriving within the grace period to the UK, will be able to benefit from the grace period before they apply to have their immigration status regularised with the new immigration requirements in place.

5. Application of the rules to Swiss and EEA nationals

Currently, the new regime is to apply for the EU nationals only, with the view to extend its application to Swiss and EEA nationals.

6. Wider implications – the employers

EU nationals were exempt from UK immigration rules. It appears under new immigration rules the EU nationals will have to apply for the ‘leave to remain’ just like the third country nationals currently. This may indicate the need for the employers to potentially have to apply for the sponsor licence.

A sponsor licence is normally required for the businesses that employ third country nationals. Currently, this possibility is not mentioned in the Home Office communication. However, this requirement may be quite likely in the future.

The EU nationals who would have obtained the settled status should no longer find themselves within the restrictions of the immigration rules. Currently, third country nationals who have obtained indefinite leave to remain are regarded as settled and the employers are not required to hold the sponsor licence to employ them.

Needless to say, the sponsor licence requirement is an additional monetary and compliance cost for the businesses. Businesses that hold sponsor licence are regularly visited and audited by the Home Office. If during its visits, Home Office finds out that the business does not comply with the sponsor licence requirements, this licence can be taken away from the business affected and the employee may be required to leave the UK.

Should you require any assistance to regularise your current immigration status under the current rules, please contact us via email: saule@hnilondon.co.uk or tel.: 0203 286 4887.

 

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Posted in EEA/Swiss nationals in the UK, Family Members of EEA/Swiss Nationals, Uncategorized

Turkish Nationals in the UK

EEA/Swiss nationals are not the only ones that derive favourable immigration status in the UK because of the EU Treaty provisions that have direct effect in the UK. The eventuality of Brexit it is feared may affect the favourable regime enjoyed by Turkish nationals in the UK.

Here is our summary of the rights of the Turkish nationals in the UK:

1. A Completely Separate UK Immigration Regime

Turkey first applied for the Associate Membership with the EU in 1959. The initial European Economic Community was established by the Treaty of Rome of 1957. Turkey remains the longest associate member of the EU.

The Ankara Agreement (Agreement Establishing an Association Between the Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community) of 1963 creates a separate immigration category for Turkish nationals in the UK:

  • Article 12 of the Ankara Agreement seeks to progressively secure the free movement for workers.
  • Article 13 seeks to abolish restrictions on freedom of establishment. 
  • Article 14 seeks to abolish restrictions on freedom to provide services.

2. Turkish Students and Workers

Turkish students and workers would need to apply for a visa to come to study or work in the UK under the general rules that apply for non-EEA/Swiss nationals.

A Turkish national who has been working legally in the UK for 12 months may be eligible to apply for Turkish worker visa. The Home Office does not charge any fees to the applicants in this visa category.

3. Turkish Businessperson Visa

Turkish Businessperson Visa is much more generous regime than the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa regime:

  • Turkish nationals are encouraged to apply if they want to start a business in the UK or they wish to run an established business in the UK;
  • the Home Office does not charge any fees to process this type of visa;
  • it is possible to apply for the visa online or through the visa application centre;
  • the initial visa is issued for 12 months with the possibility to extend the visa for additional 3 years before the initial visa period expires;
  • there is a clear set of required documents that need to be provided to support the successful application;
  • the visa permits to bring certain members of the family who are partner/spouse or children;
  • a Turkish national who is a Businessperson visa holder is permitted to settle in the UK after 4 years.

Should you require any assistance with a visa application process as a Turkish national, please contact us via e-mail: saule@hnilondon.co.uk or phone: 0203 286 4887.

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6 Facts: Family Members of EEA/Swiss Nationals in the UK

Family members of EEA/Swiss nationals is probably, the most generous category under the UK immigration rules. Here we identify some of the most appealing aspects of this category.

1. The source of EEA/Swiss family members’ rights in the UK

EEA/Swiss family members derived their rights directly from the EU law. Initially, these rights were decided on the case-by-case basis by the European Court of Justice. Most of these rights are currently codified and can be found in the Directive 2004/38.

A directive is a legislative instrument of the EU institutions that needs to be transposed to the national legal system of the member states in order for it to be applied universally across the EU.

In the UK, the provisions of this directive are transposed into the so-called EEA regulations that came into force in February, 2017.

2. Who are the family members of the EEA/Swiss nationals?

The family member of an EEA/Swiss national is not limited just to the spouse or a civil partner and/or children, but includes the direct ascending and descending family line and extended members of the family.

The direct ascending and descending family line is understood as parents and children of the EEA/Swiss national who move to the UK to live with the EEA/Swiss national.

The extended family members are understood as relatives of the EEA/Swiss national who are dependent of EEA/Swiss national support and who move or join the EEA/Swiss national to live in the UK.

3. How does one become a family member of EEA/Swiss national in the UK?

The family members of EEA/Swiss national usually move from another EEA member state or Switzerland to the UK in order to make it possible to accompany their family member and live together.

4. EEA/Swiss family member rights: spouse or civil partnership who are third country nationals

In the UK, spouse denotes a marriage or a relationship akin to marriage lasting no less than 2 years in a heterosexual couple scenario while civil partnership is reserved for same sex couples.

Spouses and civil partners who are third country nationals normally are able to derive the right to enter the UK and the right to remain in the UK through the legal standing of the EEA/Swiss national.

 5. EEA/Swiss family rights are derived if the EEA/Swiss national is a qualifying person

For the spouses to derive EEA/Swiss family rights, the EEA/Swiss national concerned needs to be a qualifying person. The qualifying person is one of the determined four categories: a worker, a self-employed person, a student or a self-sufficient person.

6. The UK does not recognise spouses and civil partners that are not genuine arrangements

It has been recognised that individuals may seek to enter into arrangements that are not genuine in order to benefit from the generous rights awarded by the EEA regulations in the UK.

The EEA regulations do not recognise artificial arrangements and the arrangements of convenience that are designed to benefit from the generous immigration treatment under the UK regulations.

A word of warning to the EEA/Swiss nationals contemplating entering into marriage or civil partnership in the UK with a third country national, it is important to check that the third country national in the UK has a valid visa that permits to marry.

Should you require any assistance with EEA/Swiss family member UK immigration applications in the UK, please contact us via email: saule@hnilondon.co.uk or tel.: 0203 286 4887.

 

 

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6 Reasons to Apply as an Entrepreneur in the UK

There are two routes available for overseas (non-EEA/Swiss) nationals to apply as an entrepreneur to gain entry into the UK. One route requires a business investment of £50,000.00 and directed at graduate entrepreneurs, while the other one requires an investment of £200,000.00 and directed at serial entrepreneurs. Here we focus on the  advantages of the latter route.

1. An Opportunity to Own a Business in the UK

There is a number of other competitive jurisdictions around the globe that encourages the opening of the business ventures.

However, the investor and the business owner is never the true owner of their own business. For instance, certain jurisdictions require a degree of local ownership, which can be a profit sharing requirement up to 50% and higher.

In the UK, if benefitted under this scheme and the investment of £200,000.00 is large enough to start or buy a local business, the business ownership is 100%.

2. An Investment Team of Two

The investment may be shared between the investment team of two. This serves two advantages. The main advantage is that one does not necessarily need to come on their own to the UK to start a new business.

They are also eligible to bring their family members. The concept of the ‘family members’ is defined in very strict terms. Namely, a family member is regarded a partner or a spouse and the children up to 18 years old or if children remain dependants over the age of 18 (normally, students).

This means that one would not be able to bring their parents, sisters or brothers together with them. Therefore, this is where the second advantage comes in. For instance, if your parents or siblings share your passion for entrepreneurship, this may be one of the ways for the extended family to stay together.

As a matter of caution, in the case of polygamous marriages, the UK recognises only one spouse for immigration purposes. Therefore, in all circumstances, one will be limited to bringing a single spouse to live in the UK.

3. The Entrepreneurial Spirit

In 2017, the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UK is ranked as one of the top ten countries out of the 137 worldwide. In 2014, the UK ranked as the fourth entrepreneurial system in the world.

It is widely recognised that the UK should do more to improve its business environment. However, a government programme, such as, Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa is an invitation to all entrepreneurs worldwide to come and make business investments in the UK.

The UK recognises the benefits of independent businesses and created an immigration framework for doing so.

4. Availability of the Funds and the Business Plan

Initially, it is sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant or a team of applicants have access to the required amount of funds.

This means that the individual is ‘safe’ enough to test the grounds of acceptability within the UK’s immigration rules before making any significant investments.

It was our experience that some applicants were prepared to invest significantly more than the set current threshold currently requires.

The business plan assists the decision-maker to understand the vision and carry out the initial assessment that the foreseen project may be a success.

5. High English Language Requirement

The language requirement for this immigration route is set at B1 under the CEFR. If one consults the self-assessment grid published by the Council of Europe, one can appreciate that this requirement may be a tall order.

However, the wish and the capacity to improve at each new task and opportunity is the trait of an entrepreneur. This requirement is further devised to assist the entrepreneur’s integration and to make sure that the entrepreneur is able to communicate with the local workforce in English.

In spite of this, if one consults the top ten entrepreneurial rankings globally, again, one can clearly see that the major English-speaking countries in the world comfortably share the ranking of top ten global economies.

The Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa route permits the nationals of the USA, Canada and Australia to realistically consider this immigration route.

6. The Benefits of Operating an English Company

The entrepreneurial activity covered under this immigration route, may take the form of self-employed or a body corporate. A body corporate is an establishment of a distinct legal entity that is separate from the person concerned.

It has been in our experience that the establishment of the English legal entity (a company) led to the ability to reap the benefits and rewards of English legal jurisdiction worldwide.

Normally, it is much easier to conduct the business worldwide through an English company than any other medium.

Should you require any information or guidance on Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa or any other immigration route to the UK, please feel free to contact us on: saule@hnilondon.co.uk or 0203 286 4887.

We are uniquely positioned to guide you through the immigration process and setting up a business through a specialised complimentary practice.

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British Passport and UK Tax

Today, we talk about the implications of the UK tax on a British passport holder. The author of this post is both qualified in UK international taxation and UK immigration law. This is a unique combination.

Working in the high net worth client industry for the last ten years, we were often asked how obtaining a British citizenship would impact on personal taxation. Here are our answers.

Unlike the USA, which is another major English speaking country, in the UK, British passport and UK personal tax are mutually exclusive concepts. UK tax system is not based on British citizenship or British passport.

Perhaps, the UK is the only country in the world that basis its personal taxation on the concept of domicile. The concept of domicile dates back to the Roman law and it sought to decide how the personal law should apply to the person concerned who could be a citizen, dual citizen or not a citizen.

Historically, despite, the rules on nationality people would carry their rules of origin (it. origo) with them. The concept of domicile sought to point towards individual’s permanent home.

In the UK, three types of domicile are recognised, which are the domicile of origin, domicile of dependence and domicile of choice.

Normally, a person who was born in the UK, may have British citizenship, but not necessarily a British origin (which means the father had no British domicile) and as long as the person intended to return back to their country of origin (the place of their parents and ancestors moved from and regarded as their own permanent home) – this allowed the non-doms in the UK to escape UK inheritance tax in perpetuity. This obviously, changed in 2008 with the so-called non-dom tax legislation introduced in the UK.

Normally, the UK income tax and capital gains tax would be applied based on the person’s residence. If the foreign person resides in the UK, they pay UK income and capital gains tax.

UK inheritance tax is applied on the long-term residence in the UK. Just the previous tax year a long-term resident person was deemed to be domiciled in the UK for tax purposes if they spent 17 out of 20 tax years in the UK. From the beginning of this tax year, which is the 6th April 2017, we are looking at the individuals who spent 15 tax years out of 20 in the UK.

However, with the upcoming national election in June 2017 we saw some legislative initiatives to curb the status of the non-doms in the UK abandoned. This, perhaps, is a positive change that may be attributed directly to Brexit.

Should you require any further information regarding your British citizenship or other status under the UK immigration rules, please do get in touch with us via e-mail: saule@hnilondon.co.uk and tel.: 0203 286 4887.

We can also assist you with your queries in relation to effective tax planning practices in the UK, especially, if you are the so-called non-dom. We can also assist you with tax compliance matters in the UK.

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6 Advantages to Apply as a Representative of Overseas Business

Non-EU nationals who are investors, entrepreneurs or business owners are restricted to three main categories under which they can apply to enter the UK. These three categories are:

  1. Tier 1 Investor;
  2. Tier 1 Entrepreneur;
  3. Representative of Overseas Business.

Here we look at the six advantages that this immigration route offers.

1. The visa application needs to be submitted directly outside the UK

Even though, this requirement makes this category easily overlooked when submitting one’s application. However, it is a straightforward route for the company looking to employ a trustworthy individual in the UK. This makes it easier to prepare the application before the designated individual leaves the country of the overseas business and arrives to the UK.

2. English language requirement

The English language requirement is A1 for this application in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It is easy to see that this is the lowest level of knowledge required.

True, an individual applying under the investor visa route is not required to know English at all. However, a person applying under the entrepreneur visa route is required to demonstrate their knowledge of English at B1 the lowest.

The knowledge of English language is proved in three different ways:

  • being a national of a majority English speaking country;
  • passing an English language test;
  • by holding a UK Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree or PhD,  or by UK NARIC certification on the level of the obtained degree and the English language.

3. The required level of investment

The required investment under Tier 1 Investor route is £2 M, while £200,000 under Tier 1 Entrepreneur route.

The level of investment for Overseas business representative is not specified other than the level of salary appropriate for the senior employee and the need to ensure that the senior employee did not need to have a recourse to public funds in order to support themselves and their family.

The application is submitted before the representation is established in the UK. The specific person is being hired in order to make it possible to establish the required business representation in the UK.

4. No sponsor licence is required

Normally, a company operating in the UK is required to have a sponsor licence in order to employ its overseas employees in the UK. No such requirement is applied for the sole business representative.

5. An easy route to settlement

Initially, the representative of overseas business visa is issued for 3 years with the option to extend for the next 2 years, which if extended may lead to settlement in the UK.

The Investor visa route may offer settlement as immediately as after the initial two years, provided a significant level of investment had been made (£10 M) and it was allocated in accordance with the mandatory requirements.

The settlement under the Entrepreneur route is only possible if it is extended after the initial 3 years and 4 months. However, the extension is awarded only if the mandatory requirements relating to the business performance are met.

6. Main burden lies with the overseas company rather than the individual

The sole business representative is an employee of the overseas company, rather than the shareholder. Therefore, the main burden of proof before the authorities in the UK lies with the overseas company rather than the employee in the UK.

The overseas company has to prepare the business plan and meet other prescribed requirements before starting its operation in the UK.

There should be no previous history of any representative activity of the company in the UK.

Also the sole representative is permitted to hold no more than 50% of the stake in the overseas company.

This route also applies to overseas (non-EU) media and broadcasting companies that look to starting their activity in the UK.

Should you require further information or assistance, please do not hesitate contacting us on saule@hnilondon.co.uk or 0203 286 4887.

Posted in Non-EU nationals: investors, entrepreneurs and business owners

5 Reasons to Apply for British Citizenship

Entrepreneurs wanted

With so many Brits living overseas, currently foregoing their British citizenship in favour of the new citizenship in the EU member states where they found their permanent home, we thought it was important to revisit the advantages the British citizenship offers.

Here is the summary of why we think British citizenship is important for overseas people living in the UK, including the EU nationals.

1. The Royal Seal of Acceptance

Everybody involved in the process understands that an application for British citizenship is not a light-hearted process. An individual concerned may need to wait a number of years before they, finally, become eligible to apply for British citizenship.

Therefore, the successful application for the British citizenship is treated as the Royal Seal of Acceptance or some go as far  as to say, that this was a personal invitation received from Her Majesty the Queen to live in this country, benefit and make it prosperous.

2. The Unrestricted Right to Enter the UK

Permanent Residence for EU nationals and Indefinite Leave to Remain issued to non-EU nationals terminates after two years when the person leaves the UK to live elsewhere, while the British citizenship guarantees the right to re-enter the UK on the permanent basis.

3. The Third Strongest Passport in the World

The UK passport is still being featured as the third strongest passport in the world. This translates into the ability to travel to 157 independent countries visa free. The UK is outranked by Germany and Singapore (visa free travel to 159 countries) and Sweden (visa free travel to 158 countries).

4. The Right to Vote in the National Elections and Referendums

One of the reasons why obtaining British citizenship is not that straightforward is because the persons applying for the citizenship are carefully vetted. This person is about to receive the right to vote in the national elections and stand to be elected for a public office. The person will have the right to shape the politics and its political climate in the country.

EU nationals who have the right to participate in the political life on the municipal level and vote in the European Parliament elections saw their rights short-lived when they saw they could not have their say in the latest referendum. They felt personally devastated about the result and no longer so confident about their status in the UK.

5. The Recognition in the Commonwealth

As one starts exploring the world map, one notices vast territories where Her Majesty the Queen to this very day is considered the Head of State.

Your newly acquired status  follows you safely to the territories that were traditionally viewed as belonging to the British Empire.

The UK continues to hold the indisputable status of the global power.

Should you require any information, please feel free contacting us and discussing your options. You may e-mail: saule@hnilondon.co.uk or call on 0203 286 4887.

Please note that only the individuals who already hold permanent residence are settled or hold indefinite leave to remain may be eligible to apply for British citizenship.

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What if there is no Brexit?

With Theresa May, firstly, activating Article 50 procedure and then retreating back to the arguments of legitimacy and declaring the new general elections to take place in June, 2017 anything appears to be plausible.

Just weeks ago we joked around:

What if there is no Brexit?

With the matters unravelling now, this appears to be one of the likely outcomes. People get to vote again.

This is what we found out about Brexit:

1. Some voters had very clear stances:

It was quite downplayed in the media in portraying that some people did not hold very firm views on the matter or failed to educate themselves.

We found talking to a number of professionals recognising the fact that the over-regulatory attitudes and the accelerated speed of European integration did not fit UK’s vision for its economy and sovereignty.

There is a circle of country’s leading economists that project a better economic future for the UK outside the EU, who now continue to work to make sure the Brexit happens as it should.

We heard further UK MPs stating that they did not feel too enchanted when a supranational organisation threatens to penalise a sovereign state when it misunderstands the fact that the European mandatory legislation was implemented properly in the UK.

After all, the UK’s legal system is that of common law as opposed to the majority civil law countries that are EU members. Ask an EU national buying real estate in the UK, the process is so far detached from what they are used to at home.

In a way, the European Commission in its recent white paper on the vision of the European Union appears to recognise the fact and the need to reconsider what type of speeds of European integration the individual European countries feel comfortable with.

2. Some EU nationals voted in favour of Brexit:

As we speak to the delightful EU nationals who have spent years living in the UK and who have integrated themselves with its values and a unique modus operandus, they came to feel that there is a certain flair in the UK that cannot be found anywhere else in the EU.

They felt they were doing their civil duty and in their minds choosing the best for the country they came to love so much.

3. The Remainers felt upset by the ‘hard’ Brexit: 

We also spoke to the Remainers who said that they felt upset by the fact that there is the full move towards ‘hard’ Brexit after the fragile and divided UK referendum vote.

They also felt betrayed by the EU stance: ‘leave if you so wish’, instead of getting to the heart of the problem and resolving issues that might have been a good idea some 50 years ago, but currently entirely out of sync with the reality.

There were other more provocative views. However, we quite enjoyed observing the stir and unrest that different views and positions were projecting. We find the uniqueness in the perspectives very attractive.

What immigration issues does this highlight for foreign nationals in the UK?

1. The issue of dual citizenship:

EU nationals of the countries that do not permit dual citizenship feel let down by their own countries of origin as they did not feel adequately protected or permitted to have their own voice to defend themselves and their position where a host state decided to limit the voting rights to its nationals and the nationals of the Commonwealth. If you were a national of Cyprus or Malta, you had your say on the matter, by virtue of the Commonwealth.

2. The limitation of the EU law and European citizenship:

the EU law does not apply to protect the EU nationals in the UK in its national referendum and national elections. The EU law does not extend the mandatory right to representation on the national level.

3. The issue of permanent residence:

a number of EU nationals in the UK found themselves not meeting the requirements for permanent residence under the EU law and felt obliged to find alternative non-EU  immigration routes to cement their status in the UK.

Despite the mentioned rhetorics above, the UK immigration advisers unanimously urge the EU nationals to regularise their status arising from the EU rights now.

Please feel free to contact us through e-mail: saule@hnilondon.co.uk or phone: 0203 286 4887. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you on your immigration journey in the UK.

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Article 50 Triggered – What did we do about it?

Article 50 was triggered on the 29th March, 2017. It was an emotional affair. The feelings were mixed. There were the determined Brexiters and sad Remainers among the people we spoke. Brexit is one of the most popular exchanges at the moment. It is an easy subject to strike a conversation with nearly everyone.

The Sun did rise the next day

We can definitely confirm that the sun definitely did rise the next morning as we watched the sunrise from the top floor in London when we attended one of the events where foreign Ambassadors and High Commissioners were briefed by UK representatives on the letter that triggered Article 50 to exit the EU.

The UK is determined to reach the following two goals:

  • negotiate the arrangement for the free movement of goods;
  • negotiate the arrangements for its service industry.

It was stated quite clearly that the UK is determined to understand the needs of its service driven businesses in the UK. It was also understood that additional clauses needed to be inserted to make sure that when the UK exits its industry standards need to retain the same compatible ranking as the rest of the EU/EEA/Swiss countries. 

The UK’s ability to hire the best people for the job was also very high on agenda. However, it is unclear what pattern will be followed. At the moment, in relation to the third country nationals, the companies operating in the UK are already delegated the powers of the UK border control.

However, it is also clear that there are some substantive categories where one can be a foreign worker in the UK and may never gain the right to live permanently and indefinitely in the UK.

Meantime in Brussels

Probably, one of the most impressive ways where communities are able to organise themselves swiftly was evidenced by Lithuanian expert panel discussions the previous weekend, which took place at Lithuania’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels on Saturday, the 1st April, 2017.

The representatives from the Lithuanian World Community, Lithuanian UK Community and the Lithuanian City of London Club together with the representatives from the European Commission and Lithuanian Representation to the EU spoke of the status of the Lithuanian citizens in the UK and the necessary steps that Lithuania needs to take in order to secure their status following Brexit.

During the expert panel discussions we provided our expertise on the immigration policy in the UK. We have made examples of how the treatment differs when the person is an EEA/Swiss national or a third country national.

We have highlighted the fact that there are a number of EEA/Swiss nationals living in the UK at the moment that do not necessarily meet the conditions under the EU law to be granted the permanent residence and this makes these EU citizens that may have lived in the UK for years vulnerable bargaining chips in negotiations and their status needs to be protected.

We have also shared the fact that the current treatment of Croatian nationals who are the newest members of the EU, may be the closest resemblance of the treatment that may apply to some of the EU nationals in the future. At the moment, Croatian nationals are required to hold specific permits to be able to work in the UK. Similar rules apply to non-EEA/Swiss nationals in the UK at the moment.

We have also stated that the immediate concern for the UK is to negotiate its trade arrangements and agreements. Should the negotiations not conclude within the two year deadline, the UK has the option of reverting back to pre-EU trade agreements with the rest of the world country by country. In some of these bilateral agreements, the right to free movement of persons and labour is specified.

Our usual day in the office

We can definitely see a clear pattern where individuals identify the need to consult their immigration status and see whether they can be protected under the EU Treaty rights and the freedom of movement and provide services in the UK.

We have been consulted on some of the rejection letters that individuals have received from the Home Office when they have attempted to secure their EU Treaty status independently.

We are more and more contacted by the individuals who are not so sure about their EU status in the UK and their entitlement to the permanent residence in the UK.

The good news are is that we are here to help you and assist you.

Please do not hesitate contacting us via e-mail: saule@hnilondon.co.uk or 0203 286 4887. We currently book appointments after the 18th April, 2017. 

We wish you a very Happy Easter!

 

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EU Nationals in the UK – “Perhaps, we are more European?”

 

Following the result of the Referendum on EU Membership in the UK, many EU (EEA/Swiss) nationals found themselves uneasy. Some of them felt unwelcome, while others decided to take the necessary steps and prove that they are the qualifying EU nationals under the EU law and apply for permanent residence in the UK.

On the 25th March, 2017, Lithuanian Embassy in London held a forum on European Unity and reminded everybody how the European Union came about and its ideals. What are the common European values? Why the European Unity is required? What it really means to be a true European?

“Perhaps, we feel more European than our political allies in the UK?”

We were a proud sponsor of this forum. The event focused on the ideas of unity and shared  European values during the turbulent times and celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.

We were featured in Lithuanian press during the last couple of days. Here we summarise some of the concerns raised and asked by the journalists based on their readers’ concerns:

1. Is the right to permanent residence of EU nationals in the UK automatic?

Our answer:

The right to permanent residence of the EU national in the UK is automatic, provided the conditions and criteria applied to such an EU national are met.

However, EU nationals are under the obligation to prove that they are the qualifying individuals to the Home Office in the UK. Home Office issues the document certifying permanent residence in the UK.

2. How do you apply for Permanent Residence in the UK?

Our answer

EU nationals have to consult a regulated UK immigration services adviser prior to submitting their application to the Home Office in order to minimise their chances of their applications being reject.

The relevant form is available on the government website, as well as, there is a procedure to apply online.

3. Is the document certifying permanent residence in the UK sufficient to protect the rights of the EU nationals in the UK longterm?

Our answer

Yes, it is. Provided the individual does not leave the UK to live overseas longterm, which is 2 consecutive years or more.

Once you leave the UK for this period of time, you will have to gain access to the UK under the new regime. At the moment, no one is capable of predicting how the rules after Brexit are going to work in the future.

4. Brexit negotiations: are they going to be easy and whether they will complete in 2 years time after Article 50 is triggered?

Our answer:

International negotiations are never easy and do take time.

We also sought some guidance from the comments of the representative of the European Commission who was one of the speakers at the forum:

A representative of the European Commission stated that the UK would have to complete the negotiations in 2 years time after Article 50 is triggered.

There is a possibility to seek an extension. However, if the there is no extension granted, the UK might have to leave with no EU deal.

More information and resources:

If you can read Lithuanian (or would like to test ‘google translate’) or are interested in the latest coverage we received, here are the relevant links:

We are absolutely delighted to serve as the port of peace and knowledge and being able to communicate confidence and reassure effectively in these turbulent times.

Please feel free to contact us on saule@hnilondon.co.uk or 0203 286 4887.

We also address issues that relate to Tier 1 Investor and Entrepreneur applications in the UK.

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