EU citizens living in the UK will be forced to apply for identity cards after Brexit

LONDON — EU citizens living in the UK will be forced to apply for a new identity card proving their right to remain here after Brexit, Theresa May has said.

Any European citizen remaining in the UK after the date Britain leaves the EU will be forced to apply for a new “residence document” in order to achieve “settled status” allowing them to stay in the UK.

The document will be compulsory for all EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK.

The exact date the new rules will be enforced will be dependent on Brexit negotiations, however the government is planning a “grace period” of up to two years in order to deal with the millions of applications it is set to face from EU citizens already settled here.

Planned new post-Brexit residency rules

Brexit flowchartHome OfficeHome Office guidelines on residency rights for EU citizens.

EU citizens already benefiting from “permanent residence status” in the UK under EU rules, will also have to reapply for the new EU identity card scheme.

The Home Office said today the new document was necessary because of any future plans to further restrict the rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK.

“Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the Government may wish to introduce controls which limit the ability of EU citizens (and their families) who arrive in the UK after exit to live and work here,” the Home Office’s positions paper states.

“As such, without a residence document, current residents may find it difficult to access the labour market and services.”

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