HM Government of Gibraltar earlier this week published a Technical Notice regarding the position of EEA nationals residing in Gibraltar after the transitional period established under the EU-U Withdrawal Agreement comes to an end on the 31st December 2020.
Residency Guidance under the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement
As from 31 December 2020, residency rights afforded to European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals as well as British nationals (including Gibraltarians) residing in an EU Member State, an EEA State or Switzerland will undergo changes.
The EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, which entered into force on 1 February 2020, aims to preserve the rights derived from EU law of the abovementioned citizens following the transition period.
EEA residents residing in Gibraltar pursuant to EU law before 31 December 2020 (and who continue to do so) will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. This includes family members, provided they fulfil a number of criteria as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement which includes, amongst other criteria, having been resident in Gibraltar and classed as a family member (i.e. spouse, civil partner, direct descendants etc.) of an EEA resident, before 31 December 2020.
EEA residents will therefore be able to continue exercising their rights derived from EU law, living and working in Gibraltar under the same conditions and with the same benefits they currently enjoy.
Under the declaratory residence scheme, EEA residents covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will automatically be identified as residents of Gibraltar without the need to apply for a new residence status.
Correspondingly, all individuals holding a blue civilian registration card on 31 December 2020 will immediately qualify for residence status under the Withdrawal Agreement. The Government will therefore, subject to some limited exceptions, cease issuing the blue card as from 1 January 2021.
EEA Residents who are not in possession of a blue card are advised to begin the process of obtaining one now via the Civil Status & Registration Office.
Future EEA Residents
EU, EEA, or Swiss nationals hoping to reside in Gibraltar as from 1 January 2021 will, if successful, be issued with a green civilian registration card. In order to qualify for residence status, these nationals will be subject to the same conditions as those which currently apply to third country nationals.
British nationals (including Gibraltarians) residing in an EU Member State (including Spain), an EEA State, or Switzerland on 31 December 2020 will also be able to retain those EU rights in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement.
If you are currently living abroad, we recommend you familiarise yourself with how your country of residence is implementing the Withdrawal Agreement. If you are concerned about your future residency rights, we would be happy to offer further advice.
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.