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I'm a British citizen who has moved to the US 2 years ago with my Belgian wife (we got married in the US 3 years ago).

We plan to move back to the UK, but it will be a couple of years after Brexit. What is your advice for this situation? We are worried that she will not be able to return easily, won't be able to get UK citizenship, and worry that if she came back to the UK and we settled there and if I died, she would be kicked out of her home.

She lived in the UK 10 years prior to the move to the US. We are worried that we may have to end our stay in the US early and head back to the UK before Brexit day to ensure her stay. Thanks.

marked as duplicate by dda, Scott Earle, Dipen Shah, Giorgio, SztupY Apr 21 '18 at 18:55

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  • Not really a duplicate because she is not living in the UK. – gnasher729 Apr 20 '18 at 21:38
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Sadly, nobody knows yet.

Because Brexit has not yet happened, and the terms of the break with the EU have not yet been negotiated, there are a great many questions like this that have to go unanswered. All anyone can say is to wait and see.

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Your wife probably had indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but that is lost after leaving the UK for more than two years, so the 10 years in the UK won't count anymore.

The current state of negotiations between UK and EU is that if an EU citizen moves to the UK before the end of the transition period (end of 2020) they will be able to stay. Six years later she should be able to get UK citizenship (which she could have received a few years ago, but then nobody expected Brexit). So that's what you might have to do to get her to the UK as an EU citizen.

Obviously there will be ways to get a visa for your wife since she is your wife, but I don't know at all how that will work. And I hope someone knows whether death of husband affects that kind of visa.

  • She would have had permanent residence under EU law, not indefinite leave to remain. Also, the non-EU route doesn't seem likely to change with Brexit, so that option shouldn't be too difficult to describe. – phoog Apr 21 '18 at 3:12

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