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Factsheet: EU citizens who move to the UK during the implementation period

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The UK Government and EU have reached an agreement on the arrangements for EU citizens arriving in the UK and UK nationals arriving in the EU during the implementation period. These include the terms on which EU citizens will be able to stay here after its conclusion.

What is the agreement?

  • After we leave the EU in March 2019, there will be an implementation period that ends on 31 December 2020 during which EU citizens and their family members will be free to live, work and study in the UK as they do now. This will also be the case for UK nationals moving to the EU during this period.
  • EU citizens and their family members who arrive and become resident during the implementation period will be able to apply for temporary leave to remain, and after five years' lawful residence, settled status, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.
  • The rights of those EU citizens arriving during the implementation period will be safeguarded on the same terms as has been agreed for those EU citizens resident in the UK before we leave the EU. Our factsheet from December provides more detail on these rights.

What will EU citizens arriving in the implementation period need to do?

  • EU citizens who arrive during this post-Brexit period will have to register if they wish to stay in the UK for longer than three months.
  • Individuals who want to stay beyond the end of the implementation period will have to apply for leave to remain in the UK by June 2021.
  • Irish citizens will not need to register or apply for leave to remain.

What about UK citizens who wish to move to other EU countries during the implementation period and want to stay there after the implementation period?

  • The arrangements are reciprocal so the rights of UK citizens who move to EU Member States during the implementation period will be protected in the same way under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

This factsheet was updated on 23 March 2018 after the European Council agreed the details of the implementation period negotiated between the UK and European Commission.

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