Prime Minister Theresa May has delivered the UK government’s first offer aimed at dealing with the EU nationals living in Britain following Brexit last year.
Announced during a private dinner with other EU leaders, the deal is currently the subject of speculation ahead of a full government paper due to be published next week. However, we do know that a new immigration status known as “UK settled status” will be created specifically for EU citizens who have been living in the UK legally for five years or more.
Although rights under these proposed UK visas are not yet clear, it is expected that they will include education, health, general benefits and pension rights throughout their lives.
Furthermore, the proposals reportedly suggest that no EU nationals currently living in Britain would have to leave as a result of Brexit, in an offer described by Mrs May as "a fair and serious offer, one aimed at giving as much certainty as possible to citizens who have settled in the UK, building careers and lives and contributing so much to our society.''
Under the plans, those who have not lived in the UK for at least five years would have the option to remain in the country until they reach settled status. However, those who arrival after a currently unspecified cut off date would be allowed a set amount of time to secure a UK work permit before they’re asked to return to their home country.
Mrs May has stated that the deal will only go ahead if UK nationals living in EU states are offered reciprocal terms, which is unlikely to be confirmed for some months.