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EEA Nationals & post-Brexit Immigration Policy

-- We rely heavily on donations to support our work for EEA citizens and others affected by Brexit. Please consider giving.--

The UK’s departure from the EU will result in significant changes to the immigration landscape. Currently we are in a state of uncertainty, with the UK Government unwilling to disclose their negotiation plans and refusing to safeguard the rights of those living in the UK under EU law.

JCWI is developing a policy and communications strategy to ensure that we are able to respond to Government proposals on immigration, and to argue for a fair and equal immigration system. We will respond to Government consultations and proposals on new immigration rules, in order to advocate for the rights of immigrants and for fairness and equality in our immigration system. You can read our briefings here.

With the help of funding from Unbound Philanthropy, JCWI is also working closely with the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) and Free Movement to provide resources for and to advocate on behalf of those whose rights to live and work in the UK may be affected by the UK's departure from the EU.


Update 08/11/2017 - The Home Office has now released a technical note on how it envisages the new process for registration of EU nationals and family members in the UK will work. While we still have concerns, it is clear that the Home Office has taken on board many of the suggestions that JCWI, ILPA, the 3 Million and others have made to them. 

Update 07/07/2017 - Recently the UK Government released its counteroffer to the EU's proposal on citizen's rights. For the most up to date analysis please see the following ILPA briefings:

Brexit 10: The UK negotiating position (1) (Citizens' rights)

Brexit 11: The UK negotiating position (2) (Citizens' rights)

Brexit 12: UK regulations on free movement that may breach EU law

JCWI Resources

ILPA Brexit Advocacy Series

ILPA has commissioned a series of papers from leading practitioners and academics on what a post-Brexit immigration policy may look like. These are available to download from their website, or by following the links below.

Guides for EEA nationals and their family members

There are resources available on the UKCEN facebook page for those making applications. 

Those living in the UK under EU law currently face enormous uncertainty as a result of the UK’s planned departure from the EU. Below are links to a number of resources giving clear and factual information on rights of residence under European law.

Those who may benefit from these resources include:

  1. Nationals of European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland residing in or planning to move to the UK;
  2. Non-European family members of such nationals residing in the UK;
  3. Those who used to be family members of such nationals (e.g. before a divorce);
  4. Those caring for a child who is an EU/ EEA/ Swiss national in the UK.

Free Movement, run by the immigration barrister Colin Yeo, has produced a series of free advice guides for people with EU residence rights in the UK. The guides contain clear and detailed information about exercising treaty rights in the UK and the process for making an UK application for recognition of your rights.

You can download the guides below:

The Immigration Law Practitioner's Association (ILPA) has produced a series of information sheets, each providing a short (two-page) and accessible overview of EU rights of residence and the issues affecting citizens from the EEA and Switzerland and their family members living in the UK in the context of Brexit. 

Note on Naturalisation

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national considering acquiring British citizenship, please note that it could affect the rights of any family currently residing with you in the UK. Unless they have or obtain a separate legal right to live in the UK, they will be subjected to the same strict family migration rules as the family members of British citizens. You can find out more in the resources listed above. 

Please bear in mind that nothing in these resources is intended to be or to substitute for legal advice from a qualified immigration adviser. The issues facing EU rights holders are complex, and subject to change as the Government's position becomes clearer. Please do seek up to date legal advice if you are able. 

Legal Advice from JCWI

You can find out more about obtaining legal advice from JCWI at this page on our website

You may also be able to get free resources and some free legal advice from UKCEN, which is a volunteer run organisation that assists people in the UK with EU based immigration issues.