New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

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Guy M
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New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Guy M » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:33 pm

The proposed new residency rules for EU nationals post Brexit have been announced in the U.K. https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... -in-the-eu

Without reading the detail, the headline seems to be a five year qualifying period as a UK resident to get 'settled status' i.e. Indefinite leave to remain in the UK. If the equivalent is granted by EU countries to U.K. citizens, this may make it harder for those who have bought places in Crete with a view to retiring there in the future, as well as those who are UK citizens living in Crete but don't meet the five year residency by the time the rules are applied. Selfishly speaking, this includes me - at least my wife and children got dual UK/Irish citizenship as soon as they could after the referendum last year. :-)

Kilkis
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:22 pm

The following is an example case study copied directly from the documentation linked above which deals with the issue that has given many (most?) of us concern, my emphasis in red:

    Example case study: UK nationals currently residing in another EU Member State with UK-insured healthcare

    Sarah is a UK national who retired to Spain in 2005. She is drawing a UK state pension and has a UK S1 form registered in Spain. The S1 form is a standard EU certificate which demonstrates an individual’s entitlement to healthcare in their country of residence. Individuals are required to register the S1 document in their new EU Member State of residence. This means that the UK reimburses Spain the cost of providing medical treatment to her.

    Sarah has a UK issued EHIC, which she can use if needed during temporary visits to another EU country (not the UK).


    After the UK leaves the EU, we want to secure Sarah’s current healthcare entitlements so that they will continue on the same basis.

At least it would appear that it is the intention of the UK government to preserve the S1 healthcare process that many of us rely on. Another paragraph from the document, again my emphasis in red:

    Pension up-rating

    44) UK law already provides that UK state pensions are payable to anyone eligible, wherever they reside in the world. But annual increases to the UK state pension (known as ‘uprating’) to anyone living in the EU are payable because of EU law.
    The UK intends to continue to export and uprate the UK State Pension within the EU, subject to reciprocity.

As far as I can tell the EU does want to retain reciprocal rights on pensions so it also looks like this issue may be resolved satisfactorily. While this isn't amongst my top concerns I know it is a major concern for Crete residents living solely on a UK State pension with little or no other resources.

Obviously both intentions are subject to reaching agreement with the EU and the EU have made it clear that they have many reservations concerning the UK proposals. Some of those reservations are in the detail and ought to be fairly easily resolved BUT I think the main sticking point is likely to be that of legal jurisdiction. The UK has made it clear that for EU citizens living in the UK their rights will be preserved under UK law. The EU wants it to be subject to the ECJ. I understand their concern, because the UK could change or completely withdraw EU citizens rights after the deal is complete, but ECJ jurisdiction is a complete red line as far as the UK is concerned. I am not sure how they will square that circle but the UK proposal is a positive first step as far as I am concerned.

Warwick

moved 2 crete
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby moved 2 crete » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:17 pm

Hope you are right Warwick but the negotiating skills of Mrs May I feel are somewhat lacking sad to say, we can only live in hopes... :(
Dave H

Dinksy
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Dinksy » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:17 pm

The problem which appears not to be mentioned is unique to Greece. We have been permanent residents here since 2007 but for tax purposes we pay tax in the UK as all money/pensions are generated from the UK. EU residents in the UK pay tax there so it is easy to prove how long they have been resident there. How do we prove we are permanent residents here as we do not pay tax here? What hoops and duplicate paperwork will we be required to supply. Looking at the worst outcome we may have to become tax residents here, hope not!!!!! This problem is unique to Greece as we currently have the right to stay as permanent tourists.

Comments from our wise ones please.
Never mind the quality, feel the width.

Kilkis
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:02 pm

If you applied for and got a residence certificate when you arrived that should, in theory, prove how long you have been resident. Whether it will be sufficient remains to be seen. As an EU member, the UK has a similar residence certificate procedure to the rest of the EU BUT it has said it will not use that procedure to determine settled status. If that decision stands the EU may also decide not to rely on the Residence Certificate procedure for allowing UK citizens to remain in the EU. Physical residency and tax residency are not the same thing but it is possible that tax residency might be used as a criteria. We will not know until a deal is done and, as always with the EU, no deal is done until the whole deal is done. They might not stick to that principle, since they seem keen to get citizens rights sorted out quickly, but you never know.

Warwick

jane clayton
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby jane clayton » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:16 pm

I'm sure this has been explained before, but could someone remind me what 'the right to stay as a permanent tourist' means...what criteria are used to decide on the 'right'. Thanks

Kilkis
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:35 pm

I am not aware of any "right to stay as a permanent tourist"? Contrary to what is portrayed by politicians and the media there is no absolute free movement of people within the EU. There is an absolute right to stay for up to 3 months that is enshrined in Article 6 of EU DIRECTIVE 2004/38/EC. The right to stay beyond 3 months comes under Article 7 of the same Directive. It allows 3 categories of people to stay beyond 3 months:

    1 Someone who is self supporting, in which case they must have comprehensive health insurance cover in the country in which they are going to stay. Pensioners, for example, would come under this category.
    2 Someone who has a job in the country they wish to stay in.
    3 Someone who is attending an approved course of study.

Those rights also extend to family members. The same Directive also describes the Residence Certificate scheme for people staying over 3 months.

A few years ago the tax code was changed to require anybody who lived here for more than 183 days in a year to become tax resident. It was fairly quickly changed to say that the 183 day criterion did not apply to "anyone staying for health, touristic or other personal reasons". Many accountants have used this clause to keep long term residents registered as non-tax resident. I only know of this clause from emails from my accountant. I have never been able to find it in the tax code itself. Perhaps this is what you are thinking of. It relates to tax residency status not the physical right to reside.

Warwick


Guy M
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Guy M » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:28 pm

Clio wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/27/british-citizens-living-eu-fear-they-will-become-mays-sacrificial-lambs

Yes I read this too. A little unclear what the various interest groups' concerns are, beyond wanting to be considered as a priority and for things to remain as they are now. Neither of these things is going to happen :

1. Believe it or not, there are far bigger issues over Brexit than the rights of those living abroad - the country is torn in two, the prime minister is weak and wobbly and has no credibility and there is no plausible alternative on the other side or within her own party, a hardline minority party in Northern Ireland has extracted £1billion as a down payment for its agreement to support a minority government that is woefully underprepared for complex negotiations that the other side has been planning for carefully for months etc etc. The rights of those Brits living in Crete and elsewhere in Europe are a speck of dust by comparison - it's not a priority.

2. Even if the whole referendum wasn't won on the immigration issue, the difference between Leave and Remain was small enough that the concerns over current levels of access to the UK would have made the difference in the way people voted, and the prime minister made her name taking a tough stance on immigration as Home Secretary. Her backbenchers, on whom she relies, include those who want an end to freedom of movement and would see acceptance of the EU position as a failure.

In short, the U.K. is in a big hole and it is still digging. These interest groups may be the only voice Brits living abroad think they have, but they will go down in history as a footnote demonstrating that where Brexit is concerned expats are completely impotent.

Kilkis
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:32 pm

The sad thing is that problems of migration into the UK are virtually wholly of the governments making not the fault of the EU. That is not a partisan statement. Labour, Conservative and the Conservative-Liberal coalition were equally incompetent.

People who come for up to 3 months are not a problem. Many UK pensioners stay in all inclusive hotels in Spain in the winter for 1, 2 or 3 months because it is cheaper than living at home. They are regarded as an asset to Spain bringing in money and keeping hotels open during the winter season. Only the UK regards such short term visitors as a problem. They might be on holiday or visiting UK sections of multi-national businesses. I used to visit many EU countries on business for a few days up to a few months. It is not an issue.

Students studying at an EU educational establishment are an export. They bring in foreign money to pay for educational services in the UK. Given the UK's astronomical balance of trade and current account deficits I cannot understand why anybody would want to prevent them coming. I don't understand why they are even counted in the migration figures.

People who are self sufficient are also an export. They bring in foreign money and spend it in the UK economy. Most will also pay tax in the UK on money arising outside the UK. Since they are self supporting and must have healthcare they are not a burden on the UK, they are an asset.

People who come to the UK to work are also an asset. They contribute to the UK economy, boost UK GDP and pay National Insurance and tax in the UK. The UK economy cannot survive without them.

The real problem is that UK Border Force has no effective controls. When an EU citizen presents at a border point nobody asks why they are entering the UK, nobody asks how long they are staying, nobody asks to see return tickets, nobody asks where they are staying. These are all things that would be asked of someone entering the USA. If they were asked and said a period longer than 3 months nobody asks under what section of the EU Directive they are coming. Nobody asks for proof that they meet the criteria for that section. There is no database of who comes in and when or who goes out and when. These are all issues totally within the control of the UK government. There is absolutely nothing in EU Regulations to stop the UK government implementing such controls. The lack of such controls is wholly down to the incompetence of the UK government.

I wonder how many companies will go bankrupt when the government has the controlling say on how many of a particular type of worker can come in. When agriculture needs 50,000 workers, for only a few months, but the government says they can only have 5,000. When industry needs 30,000 engineers but the government has decided it can only have 3,000. All because the government has committed to reducing net migration to tens of thousands for purely political reasons If that really happened either foreign students would be drastically reduced with horrendous consequences for the universities or nobody else will be able to enter the UK.

Warwick

Guy M
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Guy M » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:23 am

Nobody knows what the consequences of ending freedom of movement will be, although the best guess seems to be that it will indeed be horrendous - already there are signs of this: NHS applicants from abroad down by 96% etc.Freedom of movement has been a giant social experiment - when I work in London, I get coffee served by Spanish and Italians and Japanese fast food served by Slovakians - never by a Brit. I have a (very good) Greek dentist in Cheltenham. Crete is part of that social experiment - the whole property explosion in the early 2000s wouldn't have happened without freedom of movement (amongst other things).

I think one consequence will be there will be fewer Brits in Crete - those who leave won't be so easily replaced: if my reading of the UK's proposed immigration rules is adopted elsewhere in the EU, getting residence in the future as a Brit in Crete without the need to go back and forth won't be so easy and certainly will take more than the 30 minutes of charming conversation we had at the police station to get our residence permits a few years ago. We may come to look back on the last twenty years as a time when borders between countries were briefly down and cheap air travel meant more of us could move around with ease - and that now many countries are hiding back in their fortresses, suspicious of the World. Sad.

Clio
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Clio » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:32 am

Believe it or not, there are far bigger issues over Brexit than the rights of those living abroad


I couldn't agree more. The latter issue, however, is the only one germane to a debate on a forum dedicated to foreigners living in Greece and largely used by Britons. Which is why I posted that link and not dozens of others debating the state of the (British) polity.

Guy M
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Guy M » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:02 am

I didn't phrase it very well, Clio - sorry. I think the wider context is relevant- with the many greater challenges facing the UK government, the issues of Brits living in Crete (or Spain like those featured) will either be ignored or will become, as the headline of the article you posted suggests, a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations. I' may well be wrong or overly pessimistic, but I'm not sure everyone realises how insignificant the issue of expats is or how different life may be.

Maud
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Maud » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:27 pm

I found your post thoughtfully presented Guy. It emphasised how the future of ex pats, (which is what this forum is about), are not the 'b all and end all' of the Brexit negotiations. - People get too focused on their own situations, without realiseing how unimportant that is re the bigger picture. - It is wise to keep that in focus.

I had also read the Guardian article. There has been a few interviews on the television with such 'interest groups.' I am not sure they will have any effect.

The remark Kilkis made about the U.K. Border Force is correct. Goodness only knows what will happen if France decides that after Brexit all Border Force checks have to be done on UK soil! Can you imagine the chaos at all UK ports? The Calais migrant camps etc will be in Dover! Like some other members here, we drive to Crete. I dread to think of what we shall have to face when crossing the Channel.

Kilkis
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Re: New residency rules post Brexit - reciprocity in Greece

Postby Kilkis » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:31 pm

It is frustrating that everything has to be decided by politics whereas politics is irrelevant to people's real lives.

The positioning of the border checks on opposite sides of the channel is for very practical reasons. At the port of embarkation people arrive over a period of time and so can be checked over a period of time with no real queues*. At the port of disembarkation everybody leaves the ship at the same time. Placing border checks there will result in massive queues and a great deal of frustration. If they move the checks because of some political imperative it would be stupid.

People have moved to the UK from Europe and vice versa for centuries long before the EU was even thought of and will continue to do so in the future. Whatever rules are put in place controlling numbers post Brexit it is inconceivable that they will prevent all movement. When people move from one country to another they face real practical problems with things like pension rights and healthcare. The EU has developed well thought out fair practical solutions to these problems that really do work. If it weren't for these rules I would have paid thousands of Euro per year into the Greek insurance system for over 13 years and I would not have been eligible for one cent in pension. Without the EU mutual recognition agreements it would be possible for someone to spend their whole working life in several different EU countries, paying hundreds of thousands of Euro into different insurance schemes and not be entitled to any pension at all. It would be ludicrous if the UK government abandoned these agreements for purely political reasons.

I visited France recently and as far as I can tell France does have a database of who enters and leaves the country. All the details of my passport were entered manually into their computer system both entering and leaving the country.

The real problem facing the world today is not Brexit but the next financial crisis. It is impossible to predict exactly when it will happen or what will trigger it but it is 100 % certain such a crisis will occur. Contrary to what governments and central banks across the world try to convince us, the economic system is not more secure than it was back in 2007. The balance sheets of the major banks that were too big to fail last time are bigger today. The cumulative debt of governments, companies and households that was judged to be too big last time is double or treble that size today. The derivatives that present a systemic risk to the whole banking system have not shrunk but have grown exponentially. All the major central banks have driven interest rates into negative territory and increased their balance sheets massively through quantitative easing. They have no levers left to pull when the next crisis occurs.

Warwick

* I recognise that queues do occur from time to time due to heavy traffic but they would be even worse if the borders were reversed.


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