Because of the uncertainty caused by the approaching deadline for Brexit negotiations, UK is desperate for business, investor and entrepreneur immigration. The Home Secretary said: “We will ensure we continue to attract those who benefit us economically, socially and culturally”. The future of post-Brexit rights of the three million EU workers currently residing in the UK remains unresolved – and is expected to be a key battleground between the UK and EU in the upcoming Brexit Divorce Bill talks.
The Impact of the Brexit Divorce Bill
The EU has not officially requested for a sum of money but does state that the UK must honour its share of the financing of all the obligations undertaken while it was a member. It is clear that based on comments by Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator on Brexit, it was originally reported in November 2016 that the EU was seeking a Brexit Divorce Bill of €60 billion, although most recently the Brexit Divorce Bill was speculated to be at €55-75 billion, based on a €91-€113 billion gross figure.
The EU also plans to push for its workers in the UK to enjoy the full range of rights and privileges currently enjoyed by them. The EU rules would also apply to the extended family members of EU workers who travel to the UK after the Brexit Divorce Bill is finalised and the UK is permanently exited from its membership with the EU.
Brexit Divorce Bill: Business and Employment Rights and Immigration Residency Status Pre-Brexit and Post-Brexit
Despite political and economic uncertainties, UK ranks as the most desirable place to work ahead of the US, Canada and Australia. The Confederation of the British Industry has said:
“Workers from across Europe strengthen our businesses and help our public services run more smoothly – any new migration system should protect these benefits”.
There has been no change to the right and status of EU nationals in the UK, so for the present purpose EU nationals can continue to apply under the EU Regulations for Business and Employment rights and immigration residency status in the UK.
It seems more than likely that the Business and Employment rights and immigration residency status under the EU Regulations will be repealed and replaced by new provisions incorporated within the UK Immigration Rules. The UK already has in place a Points Based System mechanism for Business and Employment immigration visa applications in place, but it currently excludes EU nationals; however Post-Brexit Divorce Bill, the Home Office may implement a new paragraph to cater for applications made by EU nationals under the Tier 1 Investor, Tier 1 Entrepreneur or Tier 2 visa routes. For now, the future of EU nationals for purposes of carrying on Business and Employment in the UK is yet to be seen, but there are arrangements to make in the meantime to help protect the immigration residency status of EU nationals in the UK.
Permanent Residence, Settlement Visa and British Citizenship following the Brexit Divorce Bill
Currently, if you are able to show residence in the UK continuously for more than 5 years, you are eligible as EU national to apply for Permanent Residence status and subsequently British Citizenship. This may also be subject to change Post-Brexit Divorce Bill, whereby all Permanent Residence applications are likely to be incorporated into the Immigration Rules as applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Following grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain, EU nationals will no longer be able to apply immediately for British Citizenship if they have remained the UK under the EU Regulations for a period of 6 years or more, but instead would need to wait for a period of 1 year following the grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain, before they can apply for British Citizenship.
Further, if your residence in the UK is shorter than requisite 5 years period, you can currently as an EU national apply for a Registration Certificate which proves your right to reside and exercise your Treaty rights in the UK. This may also be subject to change Post-Brexit Divorce Bill, whereby EU Registration Certificates will no longer be recognised in the UK and EU Nationals would need to apply in the UK for a right to reside and exercise Treaty rights in the UK under the Immigration Rules. Please note that should you obtain an EU Registration Certificate prior to Brexit being concluded, you would still need to apply to convert your Registration Certificate under the Immigration Rules, but this process would be a lot easier than if you never held an EU Registration Certificate and were instead applying afresh under the Immigration Rules.
Using Legal Representation to Apply for EU Residence Visa following the Brexit Divorce Bill
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an EU Residence Visa application for you following the Brexit Divorce Bill is finalised.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your EU Residence Visa application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful application for EU Residence Visa following the Brexit Divorce Bill
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
Our offices are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.