How will Brexit affect you as EU citizen?

Several readers asked for advice concerning the consequences that Brexit will have for people who are citizens of the European Union. Since the Brexit negotiations seem to go nowhere it must be assumed that by 29 March 2019 the UK will no longer be a member of the EU and there will be no deal. That scenario has to be the basis of the planning of your migration.

For whom is this article?

This article is relevant for everyone who is an citizen of the European Union or a family-member of such a citizen. It is important for those who migrated or are planning to migrate to the UK, or the other way round.

What will happen?

The UK by not an EU member states will by 29 March 2019 and therefore the citizens of the UK will by 29 march 2019 no longer be citizens of the EU. That means that those with the nationality of the UK who migrated to another EU country on the basis of their EU nationality, and their family members depending on that status, from 29 March 2019 will no longer have that status.

On the other hand, citizens of the EU who migrated to the UK will remain EU-citizens but that fact in itself from 29 March 2019 does no longer give the right to migrate to the UK.

Will that create problems for those who migrated before 29 March 2019?

It should not give major problems because those who properly and completely migrated before Brexit took place are subjected to EU-law, even after Brexit. This means that both the UK and the EU-member states will respect previously established rights of migrants. New rights based on EU-law will not be established because EU law is not applicable anymore.

What problems will surface?

Those citizens of the EU who have migrated or will migrate from or to the UK before Brexit should take meticulous care of their status and the status of the family members. It does not take a lawyer to predict that the problems will arise in those cases where the migration has not completely and been arranged before Brexit on 29 March 2019.

In the cases where the migrant has not registered himself and his family, did not apply for the document proving his status as an EU migrant and did not fulfil all other administrative obligations before Brexit, it is to be expected that his or her right to migrate will be scrutinized and challenged by the Immigration Authority of the host state.

That is not a problem for those who arranged their business well, but often migrants do not bother about doing he paperwork. Therefore this warning for those who need it.

What should be done?

Make sure your documents such as your passport are prolonged and valid for at least several years. You must have applied for and obtained the document that proves that you are residing on the basis of the EU treaty. If you want family-reunion, arrange that soon and now it is still possible. Take care of proper registration of your address in the registers of the city you are living. Keep all your important documents such as your housing and working contract safe. Basically, do everything in the manner it should be done so that your status is clear. That in general is a good prevention against problems and will help solving problems if they rise anyway.

What should be done if there is a problem?

In that case it is important that you immediately seek the support of an advocate for support in such a procedure because it is difficult enough and the outcome is very important. It must be an advocate that is practising in the country where you are living.

Problem is usually that the advocate must be paid for his labour and subsidised legal aid is not available in every EU country. Nevertheless it is wise to seek support of a specialised advocate and ask for support on the basis of subsidized legal aid. Our law firm is practising in The Netherlands and there -for the time being- is subsidised legal is available.

You are in need of support?

If you have a serious problem concerning a migration case let us know. In those cases do not hesitate to send us a copy of the decision by e-mail and to ask for support. It is the mission of my law firm to provide access to the legal system of The Netherlands to all who have a valid reason to seek this access. Just let’s make contact by e-mail and see what we can do.

What to do when you want to visit our office?
Readers who are in need of legal support are welcome to visit our office for free consultation. This of course, only after you made an appointment. For an appointment call 070 427 3215 and explain to our Secretary what your question is.

Do not hold information back because our Secretary will decide if and when an appointment is possible and which of our lawyers is best qualified for the specific problem.

When you come to the appointment, bring all information that is available. Only then can we judge the case and do make good use of the time.

*A.G. Kleijweg ǀ Advocatenkantoor Kleijweg, Koninginnegracht 22 A, 2514 AB Den Haag ǀ Tel: +31 (70) 317 7700 ǀ ǀ