EU taskforce to investigate plight of EU expats applying for UK residency

Published:  27 Jan at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Following media coverage of bureaucratic nightmares caused to EU citizens applying for UK residency, the issue will come under investigation by a European Union cross-party taskforce.

The move, by the EU parliament’s liberal group deputy leader Sophie in’t Veld, will examine harsh treatment by the British authorities of EU expats living long-term in the UK and wishing to gain permanent residency or citizenship. The Dutch Euro MEP took up the cause after hearing concerns from a number of EU citizens including Monique Hawkins, a UK resident for 24 years who was told by the Home Office she should ‘prepare to leave’.

The exact number of EU citizens attempting to secure their post-Brexit positions in the UK hasn’t yet been revealed, but the majority, including Hawkins, have lived and worked in Britain long-term or are married with children born in the UK. All consider the UK as their permanent home and are desperate to retain the right to remain. A Guardian article states many employers are seeking guarantees from their EU expat employees that they will be able to stay in the UK after its divorce from the EU.

Home Office figures show a 50 percent increase in numbers applying for permanent residency since the referendum date, with approximately 57,000 applications received since April 2016. Government assurances on the status of EU citizens have been requested, but no assurance has been forthcoming. Many of the applicants are qualified professionals employed permanently by British companies.

One such, German neuroscientist Sam Schwarzkopf, contacted the Guardian when he realised he was in the same position as Hawkins. He came to the UK in 1999 to study neuroscience at Cardiff University and, after gaining his BSC and PhD, decided to remain in the UK. He’s now married to a British citizen and is a faculty member at London’s University College. His recent application for citizenship was refused on the grounds he had sent a legally certified copy of his passport rather than the original, and he was told to leave the UK.

I’t Veld will form the taskforce once the British PM has invoked Article 50. As a member of the EU parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, she will ask the committee to demand a representative of the UK government attends Brussels and accounts for every case where an EU national has been treated unfairly by UK employers or the state since the referendum.. May’s government has not, to date, provided any reassurance to EU citizens as regards their rights to remain.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive