UK and Switzerland sign citizens’ rights agreement

citizenship rights agreement, EU human rights mechanism
© Mihai-bogdan Lazar

The UK has now signed a citizens’ rights agreement with Switzerland, in an increment of the necessary preparation for disengaging EU human rights mechanisms

The rights of UK and Swiss nationals in both countries have been guaranteed after the UK leaves the EU, as Minister Chris Heaton-Harris and Swiss counterpart State Secretary Mario Gattiker signed an agreement in Bern, Switzerland, on the 25th February 2019.

The Swiss citizens’ rights agreement will protect UK nationals resident in Switzerland, and Swiss nationals resident in the UK when we leave the European Union. It will allow people to continue contributing to their communities and living their lives much as they do now.

The agreement will give people more certainty about important rights including residence, working, healthcare, pensions, benefits, and recognition of qualifications. It will ensure that citizens are clear what their rights are, in both a deal or no deal scenario.

DExEU Minister Chris Heaton-Harris and Swiss State Secretary Mario Gattiker said:

“The UK and Switzerland have signed a bilateral agreement on citizens’ rights which protects the rights of UK and Swiss nationals who have chosen to call each other’s countries home. This agreement will provide continuity to Swiss citizens already resident in the UK, and UK nationals already resident in Switzerland, when the UK is no longer subject to the EU-Swiss Free Movement of Persons Agreement. This agreement will apply whether or not there is a deal with the EU.”

Swiss nationals will be able to apply to the UK Settlement Scheme from 30 March 2019 and will have the same grace period to apply as EU citizens. There are no fees to apply to the Settlement Scheme.

Switzerland is a close international partner to the UK and both countries are committed to strengthening our relationship once we leave the EU. We have already finalised agreements on trade, air services, road transport and insurance and will continue to work together in the future.

Read more about the agreement here.


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