7 things British expats need to know about Brexit

7 things British expats need to know about Brexit

On December 8, a joint document, by the United Kingdom Government and the negotiators of the European Union, was published regarding the rights of UK and EU citizens before and after Brexit.

Britons in the EU

Brexit is approaching fast, with the UK’s date of withdrawal from the EU set for March 29, 2019. Here are 7 things you need to know about the negotiations concerning citizens’ rights.

You can stay in your EU country

If you are a UK citizen, and you moved to one of the remaining 27 EU countries before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, you will be allowed to reside in that country.

Your family members can join you

Family members, regardless of their nationality, who were not living in the same country as you when the UK left the EU, will be able to join you. The document states that the term “family members” refers to relatives who were related to you when the UK withdrew from the EU, and continue to be related to you at the time they wish to join you.

These rights also apply to children, whether they were born to you or adopted. Entry of partners in a durable relationship, who were not living in the host country, will be facilitated according to national legislation.

Family members keep their rights regardless of status

Family members who fall under the specifications of the term, as outlined in the document, will retain their rights even if their status changes. A dependent child, worker, student, self-sufficient person and self-employed person are all examples of statuses one may have.

You have freedom of movement until Brexit

Up until the date of the Brexit, UK citizens will be able to move to whichever EU country they want, but after Brexit this won’t be the case. UK citizens living in EU member states will not have the freedom of movement that they had before.

UK citizens may wish to apply for a passport from their European country of residence in order to obtain freedom of movement.

You can become a permanent resident

After five years of continuous and lawful residence, you can become a permanent resident in your host country. Periods of residence before Brexit are also valid and count towards the five-year continuous residence requirement. During this period, you must have been employed, self-employed, self-sufficient or a student.

You may lose your permanent residency status

If you are absent from the UK for five consecutive years or more, you may lose your permanent residency status. This is also true for EU citizens.

You will be treated equally

Equal treatment will be observed as set out in EU law. UK citizens will continue to have access to equal treatment in healthcare, social security, employment and education in the EU.

Further Brexit negotiations

Negotiations regarding other aspects of Brexit are still ongoing and nothing is set in stone until all the details are agreed upon.

For more information take a look at the full report.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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