What does IP completion day mean for Immigration?

The following Immigration practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What does IP completion day mean for Immigration?
  • Background
  • Mechanism for the end of free movement
  • Protections for EEA citizens and others exercising EU rights until 31 December 2020
  • The ‘grace period’
  • Accessing the EEA Regs 2016
  • The new immigration system

What does IP completion day mean for Immigration?

11 pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the implementation period put in place to enable the UK to transition away from the EU’s laws and institutions. At this point in time (referred to in this document as ‘IP completion day’) there was an immediate and significant change in the UK’s legal regime. This Practice Note explains the implications of this change in relation to immigration law and practice.

Background

European Economic Area (EEA)/Swiss citizens (termed ‘EEA citizens’ for these purposes) and their family members have previously benefited from EU free movement rights, which were primarily implemented in the UK by the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the EEA Regs 2016), SI 2016/1052. In line with the withdrawal agreement reached between the EU and the UK, and the equivalent agreements reached with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein and Switzerland, these Regulations continued to apply in full throughout the implementation period.

Mechanism for the end of free movement

At the end of the implementation period, the EEA Regs 2016 became ‘retained EU law’ under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018), as amended by the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (EU(WA)A 2020). However, they were then immediately revoked, in addition to other provisions on the statute book which implemented EU free movement law in the UK, further

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