Photo by Christoph Scholz - Brexit, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77691523
Understandably Europeans and mostly UK nationals are eagerly awaiting clarity on what will actually happen on October 31st, and if something happens, what will it be?
The British Embassy in Sweden has been very proactive with information and on Monday the 7th of October, 2019 the British embassy organized a “Brexit townhall” meeting with the participation of the main governmental authorities in Sweden. The aim of the meeting was to inform on the steps the Swedish Government is taking to preserve the rights of British nationals in Sweden, in the case of a hard Brexit.
Several Swedish authorities had representatives present. This included the Ministry of Justice, the Tax Agency, the Prime Minister’s office, the Migration Agency, and the Social Welfare insurance office. There will be far more stakeholders going forward, and the effects far-reaching at a later stage.
This evening the stakeholders mainly concentrated on a Hard Brexit scenario while emphasizing that adequate measures will be enforced only as a final decision has been reached on the matter. At this point in time, there are still many unknowns for all parties.
What is clear is the intent of the current British Government to leave with or without a deal with the European Union on October 31st.
Besides the EU level negotiations talks ongoing the Swedish government has recently informed that it is working on a proposal in order to prioritize the situation of British Nationals in the country already.
Hard Brexit Scenarios
The Swedish government has in place a short term proposal and is working on a long term proposal on the situation of a Hard Brexit,
- Short term proposal:
There is already a government proposal for a 1 year grace period for all British nationals registered in the country at the time of a hard Brexit.
- This will only be applied to British national already registered in the country.
- All British nationals arriving in Sweden after this date will be considered third-country nationals.
- During the one year grace period they will enjoy the same rights as they have already.
- There will be a possibility to apply through the Migration Agency for stamps on their passport for the ones planning to travel abroad.
- Only British nationals can apply for such stamps, their non-EU family members can continue to use their residence cards.
- Stamps will be applied through online forms that will be available by the Migration Agency.
- Quick processing times are planned but can not be promised.
- Advice to refrain from traveling before they receive their stamp on the passport
- EU airport tracks can’t be used any longer during the grace period.
- Long term proposal:
The Swedish Government is working on a long term proposal, which is planned to enter into force on January 1st, 2020.
Just like the grace period proposal, this only takes into consideration cases of British nationals already with the right of residence at the moment of a hard Brexit.
- According to the draft proposal, British nationals with the right of residence at the time of Brexit will have the possibility to apply for a 5-year permit in Sweden at the end of the grace period.
- Not all details are unveiled yet, but the application process should have the same requirements as the right of residence:
- As an employee
More will be communicated in December 2019.
- The Swedish Government encourages all British nationals in the country to register their right of residency before October 31st, in order to benefit from the current proposals.
- Everyone moving to Sweden after October 31st will need to apply for a work permit as a third-country national.
- Students already enrolled within a Swedish University will benefit from a free tuition program until 2022.
- After the grace period, non-EU family members that enjoyed the right of residence will also have the possibility to apply for a residence permit on the basis of the new proposal.
Nimmersion is monitoring the Brexit developments closely, and while nothing is decided yet, we are preparing to be able to help our clients as soon as clarity has been reached.
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