No grace period for Brexit residence permits – Politics –


A British passport is no longer sufficient to stay in Austria
© APA / UK HOME OFFICE

At the end of the year, the deadline for Britons in Austria to apply for the “EU Article 50” residence permit that was introduced as a result of Brexit. There is no grace period, the Home Office announced at the request of the APA. Accordingly, 8,886 “Article 50 EULA” residence permits had been submitted nationwide by the end of November. 7,882 of them had been released by November 30, 2021. According to figures from the Austrian Statistics Authority, 11,529 British citizens were living in Austria at the beginning of 2021.

There could still be a small backdoor: the exit agreement states that this residence permit must also be issued on the basis of a late application, “if there is reasonable cause for it, taking into account all the circumstances in the individual case,” the Home Office said.

Examples include minors whose parents have not applied or who are seriously ill. There is an individual examination of all circumstances in each individual case. “In any case, those affected should contact the authority responsible for them as soon as possible to clarify their options.”

The application period ran from January 1 to December 31, 2021. Austria had already been granted “a period longer than specified in the exit agreement” because the deadline for that was June 30, 2021, six months after the end of Brexit. The transitional phase, confirmed in the Ministry of the Interior. In conjunction with the British Embassy, ​​several media events were also held across Austria and online in 2021 informing all British citizens of the need to apply.

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The residence permit application must be submitted in person. The responsible authority depends on the place of residence. It could be the governor, mayor (judge), or district authority. In Vienna, where 4,447 people lived at the beginning of 2021 the largest number of British foreigners compared to the federal states, the municipal administration 35 (MA35) is responsible.

The Home Office also indicated that persons who hold EEA citizenship in addition to British citizenship can continue to exercise their freedom of movement on the basis of this second citizenship. This also applies to Britons, who are Swiss citizens as well.

British nationals who have not applied for a residence permit “under Section 50 of the European Union Act” or whose late application cannot be considered, are in any case “treated like ordinary third-country nationals” and can apply for “any appropriate residence title.” Another under the Settlement and Residence Act.” In particular, it will be possible to obtain residence permits for family reunification, qualified work (with a red-white-red card) or residence permits for education or study at school.

Britons who “now apply without reasonable cause in the sense of the withdrawal agreement or do not apply at all” were staying illegally in Austria after the visa-free stay expired. “Therefore, the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum is invited here to end this illegal stay.” According to the Ministry of the Interior, in the course of the procedure, “the previous period of residence and integration in Austria will of course be taken into account.”

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The new British ambassador to Austria, Lindsey Scull, said in response to a request from the APA: “We are waiting for the exact numbers to be available in all applications received by the deadline, after which we will assess the situation. We will continue to work “to work properly,” said the diplomat, who handed over her credentials on Wednesday. Close cooperation with the Austrian Ministry of the Interior.

Britons who are still waiting to receive their new residence card despite submitting an application on time in the previous year can still use the application certificate to prove their legal residence and travel, the Home Office confirmed in response to a question: the certificate will “at least until the beginning of July 2022” End of the six-month decision period for applications to be submitted as late as possible – “in individual cases, of course, after that if the procedure is still in progress.” For police officers, the application can also be seen in an internal database, “so that Britons do not have to worry about not being able to prove their legal residence in the context of a potential takeover”.

In the UK, the deadline for an application under the “EU Settlement Scheme” launched in Spring 2019 expired on June 30, 2021. According to UK Home Office data, a total of 6,340,200 as of the end of November – these are the latest figures available here too – according to the data From UK Home Office applications received, 287,800 of which are after the deadline. 5,992,100 applications had been completed by the end of November. Of the more than five and a half million applications from the 27 EU citizens by the end of June 2021, about 24,400 came from Austrians.

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