Employment and pensions

Brexit | Immigration update

Published on 6th Feb 2020

With the United Kingdom having legally left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and entering the 'transition period', which runs until 31 December 2020, the impact for EU nationals in the UK and entering the UK after Brexit is as follows;

  • EU nationals who enter the UK up until 31 December 2020 will have to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme for permission to remain in the UK beyond 31 December 2020.
  • EU nationals will have until June 2021 to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

We would encourage all EU nationals in the UK, who have not already done so, to apply for either settled or pre-settled status (depending on their circumstances) as soon as possible.

What changes after 31 December 2020?

EU nationals who enter the UK from 1 January 2021 will need to do so under the new immigration system (more information on this can be found here).

While the precise details of what this future system will entail are to be confirmed, we can gather a fairly good picture based on information made available, including the white paper from December 2018, policy announcements since then and the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report published on 28 January 2020.

The MAC envisages a two-tier system, separating those with a job offer and those who do not. It advises that the current Exceptional Talent visa route "does not work well" and that “the skills bar for entry is set too high, targeted at those at the very top of their field, and is too risk averse”. The MAC has advised the government to exercise caution when looking at an "Australian-style points-based system", acknowledging that we have in fact had this system since 2008. However, it has become unrecognisable due to it not having worked for the UK in the past, because it was deemed to not attract the right people under the formal Tier 1 (General) category in particular.

You can keep up to date with all things Brexit by keeping an eye on our dedicated Brexit Insights here, or contact our team if you wish to discuss what this will mean for your business.

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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