Sweden – No-deal Brexit contingency plan announced
The Swedish government has announced plans for how it would administer the status of U.K. nationals in Sweden in the event of a “no deal” Brexit.
- Transition period. If no deal is reached, U.K. citizens in Sweden would be afforded a one-year transition period beginning March 30 during which they would be able to continue working and living in Sweden as they do now. Non-EU family members of U.K. citizens in Sweden would also be extended work and residence rights during this time. The Migration Agency, upon request, would issue a certificate of exemption from standard work and residence permit requirements for non-EU nationals. The certificate would serve as proof of temporary residence rights in Sweden while traveling within other EU member states. Details on how this process would work, such as whether dependents will be eligible for certificates, are not yet available, but the proposal says the certificate would be attached to passports.
- Work and residence permits. U.K. citizens and their family members would need to apply for work and residence permits during the transition period, although it has not yet been determined what type of residence and work permit would be issued. Sweden generally requires residence permit applicants to apply for their permit before entering the country; however, authorities have provided an exception to this rule to allow U.K. citizens and their family members to apply for residence in Sweden during the transition.
- Long-term residents. U.K. citizens would be able to count the time where they have lived in Sweden prior to Brexit if they wish to apply for permanent resident status.
- Post-Brexit arrivals. U.K. citizens and their family members who arrive in Sweden after March 29 would have to apply for work and residence permits as other non-EU nationals do.
The U.K. is set to leave the European Union on March 29, and although the U.K. and the EU have negotiated a draft withdrawal agreement, the U.K. Parliament has not approved it. In preparation for a no-deal Brexit scenario, EU member states are releasing plans on how they will address the end of EU free movement as applied to U.K. citizens.
The government’s proposals provide some certainty to employers and U.K. citizens in Sweden. While U.K. citizens and their family members would need to apply for residence permits during the transition period, it is not yet clear what type of residence permits will be issued. It is possible that a special residence permit for U.K. citizens will be established. U.K. citizens who will arrive in Sweden after March 29 are encouraged to consider applying for residence permits now, given that it will likely take weeks for residence permits to be issued.