Leaked document reveals UK’s intention to deter EU nationals from migrating to the UK
A leaked document published on 06 September 2017 demonstrates the government’s intention to restrict low-skilled EU workers to work in the UK and restrict EU family members joining them in the UK. Director of the food and drink federation stated that it showed a “deep lack of understanding” of the contribution made by EU migrant workers.
According to the paper, EU workers will need to register with the Home Office for a residency permit which would be valid for up to two years. Highly skilled workers may be granted longer terms i.e. from three to five years. Consideration is also being given to tighten the legal definition of an extended family member of an EU national. Currently, the definition of an extended family member is found in Regulation 8 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006:
- A person is a relative of an EEA national, his spouse or his civil partner and the person is dependant upon the EEA national or is a member of their household and is accompanying/joining the EEA national in the UK and continues to be dependant upon him or to be a member of his/her household;
- A person is a relative of an EEA national or his spouse or his civil partner and needs personal care from them due to serious health grounds;
- A person is a relative of an EEA national and would meet the requirements in the immigration rules; and
- A person is the partner of an EEA national and they are in a durable relationship. The Home Office define a durable relationship to be one where the couple have lived together in a relationship similar to marriage for at least two years. However, it must be noted that this is not a mandatory requirement and cannot be determinative of whether the relationship is a durable relationship and therefore exceptions may apply.
This reflects the government’s main objective which is to reduce immigration levels and to prioritise British workers. Although this may change once negotiations take place with Parliament and EU officials who will also consider how British citizens living and working in the EU are treated and what immigration controls they will face in the future.
This highlights the uncertainty all EU nationals are currently facing.
If you would like specialist advice in relation to regularising your stay and either applying for a registration certificate if you have been in the UK as a qualified person for less than 5 years, a permanent residence permit if you have been in the UK for 5 years or more as a qualified person, or a family permit for your family member then please contact us now!