Brexit- Protecting Your Options
The UK’s pending exit from the European Union has understandably created uncertainty and many questions from European players (and their families) regarding their status and what their next steps should be. Here is some practical advice from RPA partner, Clark Willmott LLP:
– Whilst there is no absolute urgency, it is advisable to take advantage of the current regime and apply asap if you qualify to apply for permanent residence (for most, this will simply mean being employed by a UK club (or range of UK clubs) for at least 5 continuous years). The period can be covered by other qualifying activities if your family members are in a similar situation, e.g. self-employment, study etc, and they should also review their position. Many players will have spent shorter periods in the UK – do not worry about this and from all reassurances made by the government, future time will count towards qualifying for settlement/permanent residence, however all European Union nationals will eventually need to be registered (under settled or pre-settled status). Keeping the official identity and residence documents to help you do this efficiently will help.
– Keep up to date on the application process options: the government is currently trialling a pilot EU Settlement Scheme that will be much more user friendly – you can even apply via a Smartphone app that picks up your HMRC and official details to make the process easier for you. At the minute this scheme is restricted to those working in certain sectors and is not fully open to the public. For players from the EU, the scheme will allow them to apply from an Android phone/tablet to apply for settled or pre-settled status. The scheme should open fully by 30 March 2019 with a proposed deadline for applying of 30 June 2021. The scheme has a handy function that allows people to sign up for email updates to find out when the scheme opens at: gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families.
– Act sooner rather than later and don’t delay: once in a position to apply, best practice would be to complete the application process as soon as possible. Under the current proposals, the scheme will remain open for over 2 years however it is better to sort your affairs sooner rather than later. Regardless of the finalised changes that are rolled out, the RPA and your Personal Development Manager will be able to sign-post you to professional support if your matter is not straight forward and is more complicated.
For more information please contact Tim Copplestone from Clarke Willmott on: Tim.Copplestone@clarkewillmott.com