European Union: Surviving Brexit: Permanent Residence

Last Updated: 20 November 2018
Article by Calogero Boccadutri
Most Read Contributor in Italy, February 2019

The British exit from the European Union marks a shift in European politics – one of the most influential and powerful partners giving up its membership.

Those in Europe live in uncertainty as to what the efects of Brexit will be on both Europeans residing in the United Kingdom, and on UK nationals residing in the EU.

As the finalization of Brexit looms on the horizon, EU citizens are faced with troubling consequences.

It remains unclear as to whether or not the right to abode and work will persist between Britain and the EU, leaving those who reside in British territory but are EU nationals and Brits residing in Europe desperate for answers.

With the inevitability of Brexit, is there a way that such change can avoid disrupting the lives of millions of current and future EU citizens? With advanced planning and careful negotiation, hope is on the horizon.

Deadline Approaching

As long as it remains technically within the EU, the United Kingdom retains all its rights and duties to the European Union.

But the "deadline" date, set for March 29th 2019, is approaching quickly, and very few questions have been answered in regards to how Brexit will affect millions of EU nationals living in the UK and abroad

Italians in the UK

Communications from London have stated that the last day for "Permanent Residency" will be December 31st 2020 and that those who hold a PR certificate can convert it into "Settled Status", a new initiative by the home office.

Settled Status

The process of obtaining "Settled Status" consists of verifying one's identity (by inspection of personal documentation), eligibility (through assessment of residence) and suitability (criminal record check).

Settled status will allow non-British European Nationals the right to stay in the UK if they have been residing in the country for a minimum of 5 years by December 31st 2020.

Applications for Settled Status will open March 30th 2019 and close June 30th 2021.

The Settled Status permit will differ from Permanent Residency and is anticipated to be much more efficient and cost-effective than applying for PR.

UK and EU Agreements

The December 2017 agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Commission, which specifies how requirements (based on time and manner of residence in the country) will change the determination of the right to stay for European Citizens.

  • Those, as of March 29th 2019, who have been in Great Britain permanently for a minimum of five years will have the right to request Settled Status in order to continue living in the United Kingdom, to access public services and be eligible for British Citizenship.
  • Those who, as of March 29th 2019, have not had a period of residence equal to 5 years in Great Britain, may request the “temporary residence permit", which may be replaced with the Settled Status permit once five years of residency has been completed.
  • Family members of European citizens who have joined relatives before March 29th 2019 will be applicable for Settled Status once 5 years residency has been completed.
  • The children of European citizens born in the United Kingdom after March 29th 2019 will have the right to remain in the UK if the child's parents have already obtained Settled Status prior to the birth of the child
  • Those who wish to join a relative in Britain (including spouses), who is a European citizen legally residing in the United Kingdom, will continue to be able to do so after Brexit, provided that the application for Settled Status is fulfilled before March 29th 2019.

Brits in Italy

In Italy, every citizen of the European Union (which currently include British citizens) can request a certificate of permanent residence, as per the EU legislative decree n. 30 of 2007 which regulates the "stay for all citizens and family members of the member countries of the European Union".

It is advisable, as future restrictions on British citizens within the EU are not yet known, to obtain residency in Italy before Brexit is finalized.

PR Requirements:

  • Residence in an Italian municipality
  • Possession of European citizenship
  • Continuous stay in Italy for at least five years.
  • Continuous stay in Italy for at least three years in the case of:
  1. An employed or self-employed person who, when he/she ceases work, has reached the age for retirement pension.
  2. A subordinate worker who ceases working, followed by early retirement, if Italy was the place of work in the last twelve months.
  3. A subordinate or self-employed worker who can no longer work due to permanent incapacity to work. The self-employed work must have been in Italy for at least two years. If the incident which rendered the worker incapacitated (such as a work-related incident/accident) took place in Italy, then the worker is automatically applicable for residency regardless of the amount of time spent in the country.
  4. A subordinate or self-employed worker who moves to work in another State belonging to the European Union after having carried out their business in Italy for at least three consecutive years and who continues to reside in Italian territory.

Family members with non-EU citizenship can visit their local Police and apply for the "Permanent residence card for family members of European citizens".

The right to permanent residency is abandoned if one leaves the country for more than two consecutive years, or if they are deported.

The document certifying the right to permanent residence is advised to be acquired as soon as possible. The request to demonstrate proof of employment in Italy, the availability of sufficient resources for one’s own livelihood, and other documentation may be requested in order to obtain PR status.

It is a good practice to keep all the documents certifying presence in Italy, from employment contracts to income tax returns, as they may be useful when submitting an application.

Our International Law Firm has successfully assisted British citizens during the process of obtaining Permanent Residency in Italy.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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