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 October 2019

The current situation is maintained. Following EU law, you may be accompanied or joined by the members of your immediate family in the U.K., whether it be for a short or a long stay, and this, whether they are EU citizens or not.

Said members of your family consist of:

  • your partner (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 ascendants in direct line who are  dependent on you (or those of your spouse or legal cohabitant);
  • at the discretion of the UK authorities: your de facto cohabitant, in the event of a durable and duly attested relationship;
  • at the discretion of the UK authorities: any other member of your family 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;
  • the persons whose presence is necessary so as not to deprive you of your right of residence.

From 1 November 2019

(unless negotiations are extended)

If the withdrawal agreement is ratified:

a) Until the 31st of December 2020 (or longer if the transition period is extended): the current situation is maintained. The members of your immediate family can accompany you or join you following the conditions provided under EU law.

b) Hereafter:

  1. If you have already begun your legal stay in this country before expiration of the transition period : the member of your family 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. It consists of members of your family who already legally resided with you before this and continue to do so, for those who live abroad but wish to join you providing that they fulfil the conditions under EU law at the end of the transition period (marriage or legal cohabitation already concluded), and  even your children that will be born or children that you have adopted after the end of the transition period (under certain conditions).
  2. If you wish to live in the U.K. after the end of the transition period, you and the members of your family will be subject to the future agreements between the EU and the UK regarding their future relationships. European institutions and Belgian authorities wish to maintain close links with British authorities in the future.

In the case of a no-deal:

The United Kingdom will leave the EU from 1 November 2019 and EU law will then cease to apply. Your situation will depend on British authorities. At this stage, the current British government has engaged itself to allow the relatives of a European expatriate who has a maintained right to stay to live with or join them, but nothing can be guaranteed with absolute certitude. The European institutions and the Belgian authorities are fully involved in defending your interests.


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