The Withdrawal Agreement with which the United Kingdom formally withdrew from all EU decision-making bodies, came into effect on the 1st of February 2020. Yet, on the immigration side, this will not lead to any significant change in the short term. We are therefore in a real transitional phase that will last until the 31st of December 2020, after which there could be significant changes.
There are several important points to bear in mind concerning the immigration procedures to the United Kingdom in the period from the 1st of February until the 31st of December 2020:
- EU citizens: The Identity Card remains valid to enter the UK for the entire transitional period (February to December 2020), while from 2021 onwards further formalities may be required.
- EU Settlement Scheme: EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their family members currently living in the country can apply through the EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020. Applications are already open and will be accepted until the 30th of June 2021. If successful, the applicant will be able to obtain permanent (settled status) or temporary (pre-settled status) status.
- Non-EU citizens: there are currently no changes to the requirements and modalities of access to the United Kingdom for non-EU citizens. However, the competent bodies could introduce limitations on the maximum number of acceptable applications.