If Brexit goes ahead and the UK leaves the EU, EU citizens working for you will have to apply for “settled status” to continue to stay and work here. The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if we leave the EU without a deal.
The scheme will be open fully by 30 March 2019. A test phase is operating now for those who hold a valid passport – as opposed to a national ID card – and who can apply via the Home Office app for Android phones. Once the scheme opens fully applicants will be able to complete the application form online using any device or apply by post and support will be available over the phone or in person.
Applicants will need proof of:
Identity: A valid passport or national identity card. Applicants who do not already have a biometric residence card will need to provide fingerprints and a photo of their face at an application centre in the UK, unless they are 4 years old or younger.
Residence in the UK: Applicants will usually need to have lived in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month period for 5 years in a row and will need to provide proof of this. A National Insurance number will allow an automated check of residence based on tax and certain benefit records. If this check is successful, no documents will be needed to prove residence, if there is not enough data to confirm 5 consecutive years’ residence applicants may still be eligible for pre-settled status but will need to show documentary evidence.
Criminal Record: The Home Office will check that applicants aged 18 or over have not committed serious or repeated crimes, and do not pose a security threat. Those who have only been convicted of a minor crime, for example a speeding fine, will still be eligible for settled or pre-settled status. Those with more serious convictions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If you have EU staff or workers we suggest that you encourage them to register as soon as they are eligible and well before the deadline. If Brexit does go ahead EU citizenship will not qualify for right-to-work status, and the usual high fines for breach of immigration law will apply.
Arts Council England has recently published a guide that shares relevant government information to help arts and cultural organisations to prepare specifically for a “no-deal” Brexit. This provides links to information on what might happen to EU funding, the implications for taking tours and other arts projects to the EU, movement of goods/customs and borders, likely changes to copyright and data protection law as well as changes to the status of workers from the EU.