How Will Brexit Affect Working Immigrants in the UK?

2019 is the year of Brexit, Britain’s exit from the EU which, assuming everything is on track, will go ahead on 29th March. However, despite assurances that everything will still happen as it is intended, there are still many people who are unsure of what exactly that means. When it comes to working immigrants in the UK, that confusion is even higher. So what will happen to those who came to the UK from Europe to work, and now have to contend with Brexit?

Temporary Status

There are approximately 3.6 million EU nationals living in the UK right now, and that figure includes 600,000 children. For those people who entered the country legally, they will be given ‘settled status,’ which means that they can stay here for as long as they want to.

The confusion seems to have come because Theresa May has also offered to extend this offer – or rather, a variation of it – to immigrants coming to the UK between 2019 and 2021 (when Brexit should finally be completed). These people will be given ‘temporary status’ which means that they can stay in the UK for the five years required to become citizens, as long as they are working or studying during that time. At this point, their immigration status will become settled.

Of course, immigration can be a confusing matter, which is why a contacting a specialist immigration lawyer might be a wise course of action should you need to take it.

Lifetime Right

Any immigrant with settled status will gain a lifetime right to bring their close family – spouses, children, parents, and perhaps grandparents – to the UK. If they have what is known as a ‘durable partner’ (that is, a long-term boyfriend or girlfriend with whom they live as husband or wife in their home country), they will be able to bring them as well, but they must have been together for at least two years, and be able to prove that fact.

It is also worth noting that any children who are born in the UK will automatically be British citizens, even if their parents are from the EU. 

Why The Confusion?

The confusion as to what right EU citizens who live in the UK and work here to stay has been something that has been questioned since the beginning of Brexit. It stems from the fact that Theresa May was seemingly reluctant to speak about what those rights might be at the beginning, and although she has clarified the situation, people are still unsure as to what that means to them in particular.

Although it does seem fairly straightforward when you look at the points made in black and white, each case will be slightly different, and this is yet another reason why speaking to an expert to allay any fears, or to determine what your next step should be is important.

Brexit has confused most of the country in one way or another, but as we come closer to the date when it should all begin in earnest, it is essential to get the facts straight so that everyone can live happily and continue with their lives.