Whether the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019 with or without a deal, the Government has announced that EEA and Swiss citizens will be able to continue to travel to the UK until the end of 2020 without needing a visa.
From January 2021 we will introduce a new points-based immigration system. This will prioritise the skills and contributions people can make to the UK, rather than where they come from.
In a no deal scenario, there will be a transitional period before the new immigration system commences in 2021. The Government announced the details of these temporary immigration arrangements on 4 September 2019 and they are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/no-deal-immigration-arrangements-for-eu-citizens-moving-to-the-uk-after-brexit.
Law-abiding EEA and Swiss citizens moving to the UK after a no deal Brexit will still be able to live and work in the UK for a temporary period, but we will make it harder for serious criminals to enter the UK. Those new arrivals who wish to stay beyond the end of 2020 will need to apply for a UK immigration status. The Home Office will open a new immigration scheme – the European Temporary Leave to Remain Scheme – to provide a route to apply for this status. The online application process will be simple and free of charge. Subject to identity, security and criminality checks, successful applicants will be granted 36 months’ leave to remain in the UK. This will provide them with a bridge into the new immigration system.
EEA and Swiss citizens who are resident in the UK by exit on 31 October 2019 will remain eligible to apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. They will have until at least 31 December 2020 to do so.