The deadline for the Brexit (or even in a worst case scenario a “no-deal” – Brexit), January 31, 2020, is approaching unstoppably. After representatives of the EU and the United Kingdom have found an agreement on important points of contention in October, it still cannot be excluded that a so-called “no-deal” – Brexit will occur. In any event, a Brexit will have effects for the residence permits of British citizens residing or intending to move to Austria.
British citizens and their (non-EU) families face uncertain times if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal. Previously, they were able to legally stay, work or provide services in Austria because of freedom of movement under European Union Law.
The residence permits were granted according to the Directive 2004/138/EC (Link) on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member states.
In Austria, British citizens were granted the residence permit “Anmeldebescheinigung”, their close relatives without British/EC-citizenship “Aufenthaltskarte”.
For the possible event of a “no-deal”-Brexit, Austrian lawmakers have taken precautions. In order to compensate for the loss of the EU residence permit, two special regulations were created.
- For citizens of the United Kingdom living in Austria for less than 5 years, it is possible to obtain a residence title “Red-White-Red-Card plus” in accordance with the Austrian Residence and Settlement Act (“Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz”, short: “NAG”). This will make it possible to continue their legal stay and work in Austria. If the application is submitted within 6 months after the no-deal Brexit, the applicant is not obliged to proof German language skills. Most other residence titles according to the NAG require a proof of at least basic German language skills.
- For British citizens who have been legally staying in Austria for longer than 5 years at the time of the no-deal Brexit, there is the possibility to obtain an unlimited residence title “Permanent Residence – EU” (“Daueraufenthalt-EU”), if the general requirements for a residence permit are met by the applicant.
In both cases, applicants who submit their application within 6 months after Brexit do not have to prove specific german language skills. This is an enormous advantage compared to the requirements for a residence permit by (other) third-country nationals.
We recommend British citizens with ties to Autria to seize this opportunity and apply for a residence permit under the preferential requirements foreseen in the Austrian Residence and Settlement Act.
We have been assisting British citizens with questions about their residence permit. Please do not hesitate to contact our office in time to get further information on the consequences of a no-deal Brexit and which steps have to be taken in order to legally stay or remain in Austria.
Please contact us if you wish us to advise you on the legal requirements for a residence permit for British citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Contact us for an appointment or specific advice and representation at the Austrian immigration authorities.
[source image: ©Pixabay]