Government publishes guidance on plans for EU citizens

Government publishes guidance on plans for EU citizens

The Home Office has today released some guidance that it has sent to the European Commission as part of its negotiations which sets out how it intends to support EU citizens currently in the UK through a new streamlined registration system post-Brexit.

It promises that the new system will be a "digital, streamlined and user friendly application system" with EU citizens consulted on its design.

The Government says it fully recognises the massive economic and cultural contribution that EU citizens living and working in the UK make and says it wants to safeguard their right to remain. 

By issuing this techncal note as part of its negotations, the Government says it is determined to reassure EU citizens and their families about any future process in securing "settled status".

Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis said he was confident a deal was close, and that real progress had been made in the last negotiation round. He hoped that this document would faciliate the deal the UK wants. 

Key points:

  • Those applying to stay in the UK after we leave the EU will not have their applications refused on minor technicalities and caseworkers considering applications will use discretion where appropriate. Government expects the majority of cases to be granted
  • EU citizens will also be given a statutory right of appeal, in line with their current rights through the Free Movement Directive, if their application is unsuccessful
  • It will give EU citizens plenty of time to apply, with a 2-year grace period after the UK leaves the EU to make an application for settled status
  • The system will minimise the documentary evidence that applicants need to provide 
  • The cost of an application will be no more than that of a British passport
  • It will not require EU citizens to have held comprehensive sickness insurance or to provide fingerprints

The ability to retain and recruit international talent and skills is one of the biggest concerns of the games industry following the referendum and we are talking to all levels of Government to ensure the evidence around this is robust and listened to. 

Since the referendum we have consistently called for reassurance on citizen rights as well a new, smart, flexible, data-driven immigration system when we exit the EU.

Last week we submitted our response to the consultation by the Migration Advisory Committee which was commissioned by the UK Government. This reiterated the importance of diverse international talent in making and selling globally successful games.

This complements our research published earlier in 2017 which found that 57% of games businesses in the UK employ EU talent with 61% employing international talent overall. EU workers typically make up 34% of games businesses. 

We welcome this guidance and will continue to work on behalf of the sector to get the best deal possible.