A No-Deal Brexit and You – What steps do you need to take?


EU Nationals Resident in the UK

Under a no-deal Brexit, EU citizens resident in the UK can apply for the settlement scheme if they have been regularly resident in the UK for over 5 years by the exit date in order to continue enjoying the same benefits they are already be enjoying.  If, however, one would have resided in the UK for 5 years by 31st December 2020, one may also apply for this scheme once the 5-year period is up.

Once a person obtains recognition under this scheme, one may remain in the UK indefinitely.  Children born to such persons will automatically become British citizens.

If the 5-year benchmark is not reached by a person resident in the UK, then one may apply for pre-settled status, which would constitute temporary permission to reside in the UK until the 5-year period is complete, at the end of which one may apply for the settlement scheme.  Children born to persons holding this status will automatically be eligible for the same status of their parent/s but this would not mean that they are eligible for citizenship (unless they can be otherwise eligible via either of their parents).

Family members of persons under the scheme/status may also remain in the UK or join them in the future.  More information on this can be found via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/what-settled-and-presettled-status-means.

Applications must be submitted prior to the 31st of December 2020.

One should however note that it has recently been reported that there has been substantial confusion and uncertainty in terms of the above mentioned application processes.


British Nationals Resident in Malta

In the case of a no-deal Brexit, British citizens who were residing in Malta before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU may remain living in Malta if they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves in Malta, together with sickness insurance.  They can also travel freely between the two countries.

Such citizens shall retain the right to work in Malta without the need to apply for any employment licences.  Access to state healthcare, education and social benefits shall be retained as before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.  The principle of equal treatment with Maltese nationals shall be retained as if UK citizens are EU nationals nontheless.

Family members and partners of British citizens living in Malta shall also enjoy the same rights of residence as them, even if they didn’t live in Malta before the withdrawal date.  However, this applies only if the relationship had been (legally) established prior to withdrawal.   Separated, divorced or widowed spouses of British citizens who have retained residence rights in Malta following this may continue to reside in Malta.

This recognised status shall continue to apply for 10 years from the withdrawal date, and may be subsequently renewed.

These rights shall not subsist if one is away from Malta continuously for over 2 years, if the person is found guilty of an offence and is sentenced to a prison term of over 2 years.  Further disqualifying factors can be found in the Immigration Status of British Citizens Resident in Malta on the Withdrawal Date of the United Kingdom from the European Union Regulations.