What will change for people residing in Britain who come from Estonia after brixitis.
Until recently, the European Union seemed to be one and indivisible. However, Great Britain gathered to get out of it. And now Europeans, accustomed to the lack of internal borders, including those with Estonian passports, who at one time decided to leave for the UK to study or permanently in search of a better life, found themselves in a limbo. What to do for those who want to stay in Foggy Albion, and whether the Europeans will have the opportunity to move to England after Brexit – found out “MK-Estonia”.
As of the beginning of the year, the population register had 8,609 people from Estonia who lived in the UK. At the same time, our Foreign Ministry has no information what they are doing, so it’s hard to say how many percent of this amount are students who left their homeland only for the duration of their studies, but how many went to England for permanent residence.
Citizen of Estonia Alexei has been living in the UK for ten years. At one time, he simply took a passport and went to another EU country to live and work there.
“After living here for five years, you can apply for citizenship. But I did not do it. Still do not want to give up on Estonian. And the child has two passports, only at 18 he will have to make a choice, which one to leave, – the man explains. – The rights of those who have lived here for a long time, almost like local ones, you can vote in municipal elections. The government promises that after Brexit everything will be fine for us. ”
By the way, as Alexei points out, most of the local people with whom he communicates are against Brexit.
Only once he heard discontent that because of newcomers queues to doctors are increasing, so it’s better to separate from the EU in order to get rid of those who have come in.
“We pay big taxes, so we also have insurance, something like the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, along with the citizens of Great Britain,” the man says.
Olga has also been living and working in England for several years. There she moved to work. The international company offered her a transfer from the Estonian office, and she agreed.
“Honestly, I did not think about staying here forever. But I do not think about returning to Estonia. We are all waiting for a formal decision on how our status will change in connection with Brexit. My colleagues from Poland are thinking of returning to their homeland, if they toughen the migration requirements, “the girl shares.
She also says that among the local, with whom she communicates, the overwhelming majority of those opposed to secession from the EU.
“Small towns and villages voted for the exit, the situation is different, it is more advantageous for them if England is on its own. And residents of the capital and major cities are against this, as business will go to other countries, the pound will fall in price. Some local people just want illegal people to leave, among whom there are criminals. After terrorist attacks, such a point of view can be understood, because people just think about security. In addition, some British complain that they do not have enough work due to visitors, – adds Olga. – But in general they say that those who lived and worked here before Brexit, have nothing to worry about. But those who only come to England, will face problems. And it does not matter whether you are from EU or not. ”
In general, our fellow citizens living in the UK are waiting for news about what will happen to them further. Press Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sandra Kamilova said that negotiations between the EU and the UK are still underway, and final agreements on the conditions in different fields are not yet available.
“At the moment it is very difficult to predict whether people will return back or not,” Kamilova sums up.
Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May addressed an open letter to EU citizens residing in the UK. She confirmed that common positions on many issues related to the rights of citizens have been formed at the talks, only a few important points remain to be decided.
“We want people to stay and families do not fall apart. We very much appreciate the contribution that EU citizens make to the economic, social and cultural life of the UK, “said Theresa May.
Already now we know of some changes that are due to the release of England from the EU. For example, all EU citizens and their families, regardless of when they arrived, will have to obtain immigration status after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. They will have to apply to the Ministry of Interior for a residence permit, which will confirm the document of residence.
“This is a legal necessity, but for it there is also a practical reason. The residency document will allow EU citizens and their families living in Britain to demonstrate to third parties, for example employers or providers of public services, that they have the permission to live and work legally on the territory of the country. After the release of the UK from the EU, the government may wish to introduce control measures that will limit the ability of EU citizens and their families coming after Brexit to live and work here, “explains the press secretary of the British Embassy in Estonia, Julia Amor.
In addition, without a document of residence, current residents may face difficulties in accessing the labor market and various services.
Those EU citizens who moved to a certain date (at the suggestion of the British government on March 29, 2017) and no later than the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, given the established limit on applications, will be granted a new status of settlers in UK law.
“Receiving this status as a settler will mean that this group of EU citizens whose residence began before a certain date will not have any restrictions on residence in the UK provided they stay here. They will be able to work or study freely, live with a partner who is a settler or a citizen of the country, and have access to benefits and public services on an equal footing with British citizens, “said Julia Amor.
To obtain the status of a settler, it will be necessary to meet certain requirements. First, the applicant must be a resident of the UK for a certain period of time. England proposes to bring this requirement into line with the current European standard for a permanent residence permit, which in most cases is five years. Secondly, the conduct and commission of crimes will be taken into account, including the applicant should not be suspected of a threat to the security of Great Britain.
“Citizens of the European Union and their families will continue to enjoy the right of free movement to Brexit. As already mentioned, all of them and their families will have to file for permission to stay after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Nevertheless, in practice it will be impossible to immediately issue a large number of documents for residence when the country leaves the European Union, “the press secretary of the British Embassy states.
Great Britain needs to avoid a legal gap between the end of the right to free movement and the moment when a person applies for immigration status.
“To achieve this, the Ministry of Internal Affairs will provide a period of full residence permit, starting immediately after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. It will be a universal solution for temporary stay for all existing legal residents of the European Union and their families, “adds Julia Amor.
Future settlers are questionable.
EU citizens and their families who will reside in the UK for five years by the time they leave the EU or after the grace period, will be able to receive a grant for the status of the settler, provided that there will be evidence of their five-year residence. What evidence is needed – will be reported additionally.
As for that part of the EU citizens who were residents of the UK before a certain date, but who do not receive the status of a settler or do not meet the requirement for a five-year stay by the end of the grace period, they will be allowed to remain in the country until the five-year period. But it will be necessary to get permission from the Ministry of Internal Affairs for this. After reaching five years they will be able to apply for the status of settler.
“What kind of rules will work for EU citizens who want to move to the UK after Brexit, it’s too early to say. The decision of the UK will take closer to the date, “- pays attention to the spokesman of the embassy.
To provide confidence to students from the European Union, the British government has already confirmed that those who are now students and those who begin their studies in English universities and other universities in 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years will have the same rights as and earlier, and even will be able to apply for a scholarship.
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What will change for people residing in Britain who come from Estonia after brixitis.