After BREXIT: Maltese living in UK need to apply for a new residence document
When the United Kingdom exists the European Union, EU citizens including the Maltese who have been living in the UK for at least five years, will be entitled to a new document called settled status. Almost four million European citizens in the United Kingdom are expected to apply for this status.
There are some 81,000 Maltese, including around 50,000 of Maltese descent, living in the UK. Similar to other European Union citizens living, working or studying in the UK, the Maltese and their relatives may continue living there following Brexit. However, if they do not have a British passport or citizenship, they need to apply for a new residence document – being referred to as Settled Status or Pre Settled Status.
The Settled Status applies to those who have been living in the UK for at least five continuous years, while the Pre Settled Status applies to those who have been living in the country for less than five years.
The Maltese Government is encouraging the Maltese in the UK to apply for the new residence document. Foreign Affairs Minister, Carmelo Abela, said that the Settled Status is expected to open in November.
“The proper details have not been issued yet. What is certain is that by the end of next March, they will not have to leave however there will be a period of transition, even a two-year period during which a person may review his status if needed”.
Applications for this new status will be received till the end of June 2021, while European citizens in the UK will not lose any of their current benefits.
Minister Abela stated, “The aim is, yes, they will continue to benefit, that is if a person is working there once his status is settled through an established procedure, the aim is that they will continue to benefit from their current rights”.
The Maltese Government is encouraging the Maltese to prepare for this document by registering on the UK’s Home Office website so that they are updated on latest development in this regard.