Recent reports from the Nursing and Midwifery Council suggests there has been an unexpected drop in EU nationals registering as nurses in the United Kingdom following the EU Referendum. Figures show that there has been a 90% decrease in EU nurses registering in the UK. The Unprecedented drop in nursing applications is largely due to Prime Minister Theresa May and Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s reluctance to clarify the future of EU nationals following Article 50 being triggered.
Nursing Crisis following EU Referendum – What does the Future hold for EU Nurses
Several months after the historic and unexpected announcement that the British public had decided to sever its ties with the European Union, the initial web of uncertainty and concern has triggered many EU nationals to regularise their status in the UK. Whilst there has been a decrease in nursing applications, there has been a significant increase in EEA Residence Card and EEA Permanent Residence applications.
Statistics also show the number of EU nurses leaving the NHS trusts in England has also dramatically increased since the referendum. This has caused an immediate sense of concern as there are numerous NHS Trusts already short staffed. Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary for the Royal College of Nursing has also commented on the nursing crisis and has stated
“The government risks turning off the supply of qualified nurse from around the world at the very moment the health services is in a staffing crisis like never before”.
Brexit Immigration Strategy: Options for EU Nurses
All in all, the position with Brexit is still unclear but it should not stop EU nurses from devising an immigration strategy. If you are an EU nurses currently in the UK, and you wish to live and/or work in the UK in the near future, you may want to take the following actions as part of an immigration strategy and to obtain documentation that proves your rights in the UK.
Registration Certificate – Apply for a Registration Certificate as a “qualified person” exercising Treaty rights in the UK as an EU citizen. If you are working, studying, self-employed, self-sufficient or looking for work in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Registration Certification as a “qualified person”. The reason for applying for such a document is that you would have a safeguard and will be more likely be able to prove that you in fact, have a right to live and work in the UK.
Permanent Residence – If you have been residing in the UK for 5 continuous years or above as an EEA national, you may be eligible for a Permanent Residence document. The Permanent Residence status under the EEA Regulations are very similar to the Indefinite Leave to Remain under the UK Immigration Rules. These statuses would entail that a person will be free from immigration control in the UK and will be free to live and work in the UK either permanently or indefinitely.
British citizenship – Once you have acquired Permanent Residence status for at least 12 months and have acquired a Permanent Residence card, you may then be eligible to apply for British citizenship. Please note that you do not necessarily have to have had the Permanent Residence card for 12 months in order to be eligible; there is a subtle difference between Permanent Residence status and holding a Permanent Residence card. Needless to say, if you do become a British citizen prior to any formal Brexit changes, it is unlikely that the changes in the future will affect you as you will no longer be considered as a “foreigner”.
How to make a successful Application for a Document Confirming Your Right to live in the UK as EU Nurses
To make a successful Permanent Residence, Registration Certificate or Naturalisation application you must meet the Home Office’s requirements. It is important to note that the Home Office’s requirements are a set of rigorous rules. However, you should note that there are numerous ways you can satisfy these rules. It is imperative you obtain the correct guidance before submitting any visa and immigration application. The UK immigration rules are complex and so it’s advisable to seek legal advice to avoid refusal.
In our expert experience, we have assisted clients in the past who have assumed that they do not meet the requirements but once we explore their circumstances we discover they do meet the requirements. A common question we often come across is regarding the documents which have to be submitted as evidence of exercising Treaty Rights. The requirements may be satisfied through various different avenues such as salaried employment, self-employment or cash savings (self-sufficient). You may wish to contact us if you have any questions regarding any of the requirements.
Successful visa and immigration EEA applications for EU Nurses
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 applications before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration or visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We 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