Brexit – What will this mean for UK immigration?

Following the result of the UK’s EU referendum, which the Leave campaign won with 52% of the vote, there are many questions and uncertainty about the future UK immigration landscape.

The landmark result, which saw more than 30 million people vote, the highest turnout since 1992, has raised a number of concerns for EU nationals living and working in the UK.

Our UK immigration partner is confident that any outstanding or ongoing immigration applications presently with the Home Office for consideration will be unaffected.

Based on their extensive experience of UK immigration laws, it is unlikely that legislative changes will be implemented retrospectively. Under normal circumstances, the government would implement a transitional period; however, given the uncharted territory in which the UK now finds itself, such an event cannot be guaranteed.

The BBC reports that, moving forward, the ability of EU nationals who want to work in the UK depends on whether the UK government decides to introduce a system of applying for work permission, similar to Tier 2 of the points-based system that applies to non-EU citizens.

The bottom line is that, like everyone else, including those in government, we simply do not know what is next for UK immigration policy.

What we do know is that, in theory, the minimum period for the UK to leave the EU will be two years. In practice it may take longer, depending on negotiations around new trade relationships with the EU.

During the ‘leaving’ period, the UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not participate in any EU decision-making.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK