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When the UK leaves the European Union on 31 October, free movement as it currently stands will end, if the UK leaves without a deal. The details of new immigration arrangements for EU citizens moving to the UK after a no deal Brexit were announced on 4 September (https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2019-09-04/HCWS1817/).
To remain in the UK after 2020, EU citizens moving to the UK after a no deal Brexit, and their close family members, will be able to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain. Under this scheme, EU citizens will be granted a period of 36 months’ leave to remain in the UK, which will provide them and their employers, with greater confidence and certainty during the transitional period before the new points-based immigration system is introduced from January 2021.
The rights of EU citizens resident in the UK before Brexit are unchanged and will be protected by the status they can obtain under the EU Settlement Scheme, as more than one million of them have already done. They will have at least until 31 December 2020 to make an application under that scheme.
Until the new points-based immigration system is introduced in 2021, EU citizens will be able to prove their right to take up employment, as now, by using their passport or national identity card. Alternatively, those with status under the EU Settlement Scheme or with European Temporary Leave to Remain may choose to use the Home Office on-line checking service to demonstrate their entitlement. When the new points-based immigration system is introduced from January 2021, employers will need to check that, in respect of any new recruitment, an EU citizen has a valid UK immigration status.
The Home Office continues to undertake extensive communications activity with employers. This includes events, webinars, and an online guide to employing EU citizens after Brexit. We have also published an employer toolkit to enable employers to provide reassurance and information to their staff. Advertising and local events are now underway to support the cross-government Get Ready campaign.