Brexit & EU immigration to the UK before/after 31 October 2019

With Brexit looming, we have received several recent queries from EU citizens concerning the implications of the timing of their intended immigration to the UK in the event of no-deal Brexit (which currently appears to be the default Brexit outcome).

What is the position if I arrive before 31 October 2019?

EU citizens who settle in the UK before 2300 hours on 31 October 2019 are entitled to apply for pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (ESS). This gives the right to remain in the UK for 5 years from the date it is granted. Applications under ESS will be possible until 31 December 2020.

What about those arriving after 31 October 2019?

For those arriving after 31 October there will be transitional arrangements up until 31 December 2020 under which EU citizens will need either to apply for Temporary Leave to Remain (TLR) or to leave the UK by this date. A grant of TLR will allow the person to remain in the UK for 36 months from the date it is granted.

What will the position be after 31 December 2020?

After 31 December 2020, leave to remain in the UK will be granted only on the basis of a new points-based immigration system.

Time spent in the UK under TLR or ESS will count for the purposes of a future application for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) under the new immigration system.

All of this may of course change in the event of a deal or further delay to Brexit. But, as things stand and if the plan is to stay for the long term, there is a potential advantage in settling in the UK on/before 31 October 2019.

Does Brexit have implications in terms of claiming non-dom status for tax?

Brexit generally will NOT have any implications in terms of the availability of non-dom status for UK tax.

However, it remains important to establish the precise date from which UK residency for tax purposes is acquired, since this is the date from which the potential benefits of non-dom status will be available. Moreover, ideally preparatory non-dom tax planning should be undertaken and implemented in advance of becoming UK resident.

It is also worth mentioning here that non-doms contemplating obtaining ILR or naturalising as British citizens as a result of Brexit should exercise caution. Care must be taken that a foreign domicile of origin is not seen to have been displaced by the acquisition of a UK domicile of choice, as the benefits of non-dom status would then be lost.

Verfides specialises in advising on non-dom tax planning.

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