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Letter from Home Officer - EU citizens rights

2 January 2018

On 21st December 2017, the Home Office published the following guidance concerning the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU.

The agreement reached means that EU citizens living lawfully in the UK and UK nationals living lawfully in the EU by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay and enjoy broadly the same rights and benefits as they do now. There will be a transparent, smooth and streamlined process to enable EU citizens to apply for settled status starting in the latter half of next year for two years after the UK leaves the EU – from 2018 to 2021.

"As you have discussed during your engagement with the Home Office, moving negotiations between the UK and the EU to a discussion about our future relationship is good news for the EU citizens in your members’ workforces and in their supply chains. I trust it will also be welcomed by everyone in this country who relies on the expertise, services and support that EU citizens provide as valued members of UK society.

We have taken a big step forward. EU citizens living lawfully here before the UK’s exit from the EU will be able to stay. The deal will respect the rights that individuals are exercising and the benefits they currently have. This will help EU citizens and organisations alike plan for the future.

There are three simple messages your members may want to share with their staff:
• You will be able to stay if you are in the UK when the UK leaves the EU;
• Close family members will be able to join you; and
• It will be easy and inexpensive to apply for settled status and a streamlined process will open during the second half of 2018.
They can also encourage staff to visit this page for the latest information and to sign up for regular official email updates on citizens’ rights here

The agreement will not only enable families who have built their lives together in the EU and UK to stay together; it also gives certainty about healthcare, pensions and other benefits. It includes reciprocal rules to protect existing decisions to recognise professional qualifications, for example for doctors and architects.

These commitments will be locked into a binding and reciprocal agreement with the EU. The agreement is here

As you know from our discussions, communicating with EU citizens about the settlement scheme is a top priority for my department to ensure people are aware of what they need to do to secure their rights and I am grateful for your involvement. Your support in communicating with EU citizens will be crucial. My officials will circulate separately some supporting materials you and your members may find helpful as you compile content for distribution on your own channels.

As we move from withdrawal issues to discussing our future relationship with the EU, the Home Secretary will shortly be publishing proposals for the UK’s future immigration system, and bringing forward an Immigration Bill as announced in the Queen’s Speech. These will no doubt be discussed further at future meetings."

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