Irish Citizens’ Right to Live and Work in the UK post-Brexit

January 13, 2021

The Immigration Act 1971 has been amended to reflect the fact that Irish Citizens will continue to enjoy the same right to live and work in the UK post-Brexit as they did previously. For the purposes of immigration law, Irish Citizens are regarded as ‘settled’ in the UK on the moment of their arrival. This means that Irish Citizens can sponsor certain family members for a visa under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, even if they have not previously resided in the UK.

If you are an Irish Citizen who resided in the UK previously and would qualify for a status under the EU Settlement Scheme were you to apply, you may still be able to bring your family members to the UK on a family permit under Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules. This includes British, Irish, and dual British/Irish Citizens who were born in Northern Ireland.

This is a particularly important development for many Irish Citizens living outside the UK who may have doubted whether they could bring their non-British/non-Irish family members with them should they choose to emigrate to the UK after 31 December 2020. It is also important for Irish Citizens who resided in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 who may form relationships after this date who now have the option of sponsoring their family members for a settlement visa under Appendix FM.

Muldoon Britton have seen an increasing number of enquiries from persons who believe they may have a claim to Irish Citizenship by descent who will benefit from the above. To claim Irish Citizenship by descent you must be able to prove one of the following:

  1. One of your parents was born on the island of Ireland;
  2. One of your grandparents was born on the island of Ireland;
  3. One of your great-grandparents was born on the island of Ireland and the parent through whom you are claiming Irish Citizenship by descent was registered on the Irish foreign births register before your birth. We would encourage persons with a grandparent born on the island of Ireland to register themselves via the Foreign Births Registration process sooner rather than later so as to allow future children the opportunity to apply.

Should you have any questions about the foreign birth registration process or UK immigration law, please contact us.

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With years of experience working in UK immigration and British nationality law, our advisors can help you understand the process and take the right steps to obtain your visa. Get in touch today.