As of the 1st of February, the United Kingdom will officially no longer be a member of the EU.
In reality, very little will change immediately after January 31.
The UK will enter into a transition period lasting until 31 December of 2020, and during this period, EU rules will continue to apply.
MALTESE NATIONALS CURRENTLY RESIDING IN THE UK
After January 31, EU citizens including Maltese nationals who have been living in the UK for at least five years, will be entitled to a new document called Pre Settled or Settled status, which they need to apply for, unless they have a British passport or citizenship.
The Settled Status applies to those who have been living in the UK for at least five continuous years, while the Pre Settled Status applies to those who have been living in the country for less than five years.
“The proper details have not been issued yet. What is certain is that by the end of next March, they will not have to leave however there will be a period of transition, even a two-year period during which a person may review his status if needed”, Foreign Affairs Minister, Carmelo Abela shares.
Applications for this new status will be received till the end of June 2021, while European citizens in the UK will not lose any of their current benefits.
The Maltese Government is encouraging the Maltese to prepare for this document by registering on the UK’s Home Office website so that they are updated on latest development in this regard.
UK NATIONALS CURRENTLY RESIDING IN MALTA
The Withdrawal Agreement ensures that UK nationals who currently reside in Malta (prior to Jan 31) have access to life-long rights such as healthcare and pension, and will be able to roam in and out of the island freely. The Withdrawal Agreement also covers close and existing family members.
Officials from Identity Malta also confirmed that they will soon begin the process of contacting all registered UK nationals in Malta to inform them on how to apply for the new ‘Residency Card’.
The new card will be issued free of charge and needs to be renewed every ten years.
The new Residency Card will be available to UK nationals who are resident in Malta prior to 31 December 2020. To be considered resident in Malta, you must have lived in Malta for at least 3 months.
Identity Malta will write to all registered UK nationals informing them of how and when to apply.
All UK nationals resident in Malta must apply by 30 June 2021. In the meantime, existing Residency Cards will remain valid.
The Maltese government has also provided a helpline number for UK nationals: Dial 153.