This report covers new legislation awaiting the Finnish president’s ratification that assures the rights and status of British citizens in Finland in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
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In Finland, ratification is expected shortly of a special act to secure the continuance of residency for British citizens in the event of the U.K. leaving the European Union (EU) without an agreement (“no-deal Brexit”).1
The Finnish government has drafted this special act in order to extend the right of residence of British citizens in Finland until the end of 2020. The act prepares for the possibility of the U.K. leaving the EU at the end of March without an agreement.
British citizens are advised to register their right of residence in Finland before 29 March 2019.2
Following a no-deal Brexit, British citizens will no longer be EU citizens and thus can no longer claim residence in an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) member state on the basis of the EU treaty. As a result, they will be subject to rules and conditions similar to those afforded third-country nationals in Finland and the rest of the EU.
The act should help to clarify and assure the rights and status of British citizens living and working in Finland in the event of a no-deal Brexit (following 29 March 2019).
Under this special act, those British citizens who are currently living in Finland and have registered their EU right of residence can continue to stay and live (and study) in Finland. They can also receive social security benefits – without any separate measures – during the period and under the conditions in which the act is valid.
The special act will apply only to those who have their EU right of residence registered before the United Kingdom leaves the EU. Therefore, British citizens are strongly encouraged by the Finnish government to register their right of residence as soon as possible, but at the latest by 29 March 2019.
The special act will apply only to those who have been registered by 29 March 2019; if they do not thus register, their right of residence in Finland will end on that day. In such case, starting from 30 March 2019, British citizens will be regarded as third-country nationals.
If the EU and the United Kingdom agree on visa-free travel, British citizens will be able to reside legally in Finland for 90 days.
Currently the act is waiting to be ratified by the president of Finland.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Finland.
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