What is the impact of Brexit if I want members of my family to accompany me? Can they join me once I am there?

 
Until 31 January 2020

The current situation is maintained. According to EU law, you may be accompanied or joined by members of your immediate family in the United Kingdom, for a short or a long stay, regardless of whether they are EU citizens or third-country citizens.

The members of your family in question are the following:

  • your spouse (including same sex marriages);
  • your legal cohabitant;
  • your direct-line descendants under the age of 21 or dependent (or those of your spouse or legal cohabitant);
  • your direct-line ascendants who are dependent on you (or those of your spouse or legal cohabitant);
  • at the discretion of the British authorities: your de facto cohabitant, in the event of a lasting and duly attested relationship;
  • at the discretion of the British authorities: any other family member who is dependent on you, or who is part of your household, or for whom, for serious health reasons, you must imperatively and personally take care of yourself;
  • individuals whose presence is necessary so as not to deprive you of your right of residence.

 
From 1 February 2020

(unless the withdrawal negotiations are extended)

 
If the withdrawal agreement is ratified:

a) Until 31 December 2020 (longer if the transition period is extended): the current situation is maintained. Members of your immediate family can accompany you or join you in accordance with the conditions set out under EU law.

b) Thereafter:

  1. If you have already started your legal stay in this country before the end of the transition period: your family members may continue to stay with you and join you in the United Kingdom. This only includes people who were already part of your immediate family before the end of the transition period. This therefore means members of your family who were already legally living with you prior to this date and continue to do so, those who were living abroad but wish to join you, providing that they fulfil the conditions set out under EU law at the end of the transition period (existing marriage or legal cohabitation, etc.), and even children born or adopted after the end of the transition period (under certain conditions).
     
  2. If you wish to live in the United Kingdom after the end of the transition period, you and your family members will be subject to the scheme set out in the future agreements between the EU and the United Kingdom regarding future relations. European institutions and the Belgian authorities wish to maintain close links with the British authorities in the future.

 
In the absence of an agreement:

In principle, the United Kingdom will leave the EU from 1 February 2020 and EU law will then cease to apply. Your situation will depend on the British authorities. European institutions and the Belgian authorities wish to maintain close links with the British authorities in the future.

At this stage, the British government has agreed to allow individuals who were already part of the immediate family of a European national who has acquired 'pre-settled status' or 'settled status' to continue to stay with that person or join them until 29/03/2022 under the conditions set out in EU legislation, but nothing can be guaranteed with absolute certainty. Future family reunification (spouses, partners) will take place under British conditions after 31/12/2020.

 

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