May courts EU expats but ignores UK expats in Europe

Published:  27 Jul at 6 PM
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Recently published details on a proposed system for EU expats in the UK to get settled status aren’t being reciprocated for UK expats in Europe.

Recently appointed British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has hit out at EU lawmakers for not authorising a similar scheme for UK expats living in EU member states, but the EU doesn’t seem to be taking much notice. As a result, Britons living across the channel are still in the grip of the same uncertainty as they were in June 2016 when the results of the referendum were announced.

From March 29 next year, expat citizens living and working in the UK must apply for settled status in three steps, beginning with proving their identity and showing they actually live in the UK and have no serious criminal convictions. Application is to cost £65 per adult and £32.50 for every child under the age of 16. Recent reports have been urging expats to apply early to avoid the expected rush. Those who already have either indefinite leave to remain or valid permanent residency won’t be charged for their settled status applications as their details will simply be checked against their employment and benefit records.

EU citizens who’ve not yet lived in the UK for five years will be granted pre-settled status and can exchange it for full settled status once the five years are up. An initial report that the online application process will be able to be accessed via laptops, tablets, smartphones and computers may need to be temporarily withdrawn, as there seem to be problems with the as yet unproven system. Provided it gets fixed in time, the application deadline will be set at 30 June 2021.

Javid's reaction to the above was to state his disappointment that nothing of the kind is being prepared for the several million British citizens living, working or retiring in EU member states, some of whom have been living in their chosen countries for decades. He urged the EU to ensure its members agree to provide a similar system in time for registration to be made by all those to whom it applies, adding the present glaring lack of information coming from EU member states is simply not good enough.
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