Given the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, the European Commission has asked Member States to take a "generous approach" to the rights of UK nationals already living in their territories, subject to reciprocity. In response, Member States have agreed to extend many existing residence, employment and travel rights for a temporary period. In some case, UK citizens have been offered special conditions that other third-country nationals do not enjoy, particularly in Member States where UK tourism is important (e.g., Portugal and Spain). Several Member States have offered permanent national "regularization" for UK citizens already living in the country.
For this purpose, the Romanian Government adopted Government Emergency Ordinance no. 70/2019, published in the Romanian Official Gazette no. 933/20 November 2019 (the "No-Deal Brexit GEO").
Applicability of No-Deal Brexit GEO
The No-Deal Brexit GEO is applicable to:
- Brexit status persons, which include: (i) British citizens and their family members registered with the Romanian Immigration Authority before a no-deal Brexit; (ii) British citizens and their family members who entered Romania but who have not registered with the Romanian Immigration Authority before a no-deal Brexit; and (iii) British citizens and their family members who obtained a permanent residency right in Romania before a no-deal Brexit.
- Post-Brexit status persons, which include some family members of British citizens (spouse, direct line descendants who are under the age of 21 or dependents, direct line ascendants who are dependents) who did not exercise their right to free movement before a no-deal Brexit and come to Romania to join a British citizen living in Romania during the transition period.
Transition period and right to stay during such period
The transition period set out under the No-Deal Brexit GEO ends on 31 December, 2020, until when:
- post-Brexit status persons may enter Romania according to the provisions of the No-Deal Brexit GEO and benefit from the rights thereof;
- registration certificates issued by the Romanian Immigration Authority for Brexit status persons registered with the Romanian Immigration Authority for staying in Romania for periods longer than three months are valid; these Brexit status persons must request an extension of their temporary residence right before 31 December 2020;
- permanent residency cards issued by the Romanian Immigration Authority for Brexit status persons who obtained a permanent residence right in Romania before the no-deal Brexit are valid; these Brexit status persons must request an extension of their long-stay residence right before 31 December 2020.
Brexit status persons not registered with the Romanian Immigration Authority before a no-deal Brexit must request an extension of their temporary residence right from the Romanian Immigration Authority within 90 days of a no-deal Brexit.
Post-Brexit status persons may request an extension of their temporary residence right from the Romanian Immigration Authority within 90 days of their entry into Romania.
All such requests for an extension of residence right (temporary or long-stay) are subject to an analysis of various documents that must be submitted by applicants, including, of course, a passport copy.
Entry into force
The No-Deal Brexit GEO enters into force on the day after a no-deal Brexit occurs, subject to the fulfillment of the condition of reciprocity (i.e., that on the date of a no-deal Brexit, the United Kingdom grants or has granted to Romanian citizens who exercised their right to free movement in the territory of the United Kingdom the benefit of a legal regime which is no less favorable to Romanian citizens than the Romanian legal regime created by the No-Deal Brexit GEO is to British citizens).
Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries. www.dentons.com.
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.