On 25 November 2018, the EU and the UK government endorsed a draft Withdrawal Agreement and an outline Political Declaration on the future relationship.

However, the House of Commons rejected the agreement, and on 21 March 2019, an extension of the Article 50 period was granted. On 10 April 2019, the EU and the UK agreed a new extension of the Article 50 period, until 31 October 2019.

There are still several possible outcomes:

  1. The UK and the EU could ratify the Withdrawal Agreement by 31 October 2019. In this case, the UK would leave the EU in an orderly manner on the first day of the month following ratification; or
  2. There could be a no-deal Brexit on 1 November 2019, if the UK fails to ratify the withdrawal agreement by 31 October 2019; or
  3. The UK and the EU could agree another extension of the Article 50 period before 31 October 2019; or
  4. The UK government could unilaterally revoke Article 50, effectively cancelling Brexit.

If the UK leaves the EU without a ratified Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals will become third-country (non-EU) nationals immediately.

What You Can Do Now

  • Ensure all UK employees residing in an EU member state, and EU citizens resident in the UK, and their family members, have submitted registration applications (where applicable) by Brexit day;
  • Affected employees should begin gathering documents in support of possible future immigration applications;
  • Be prepared for more complex immigration application requirements in any post-Brexit scenario and, if possible, bring forward any planned assignments between the UK and the EU.

EU Settlement Scheme

Effective 1 October 2019, in line with an announcement in April 2019, close family members (where the relationship existed on Brexit day) of UK nationals returning with them from the EEA or Switzerland, having lived there together while the UK national exercised their free movement rights, will be able to access the EU Settlement Scheme until 29 March 2022 in both ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenarios.

Future spouses, civil partners and durable partners (where the relationship was established after Brexit day), and other dependent relatives of UK nationals, returning with them from the EEA or Switzerland, having lived there together while the UK national exercised their free movement rights, will be able to access the EU Settlement Scheme until 31 December 2020 in both ‘deal’ and ‘no deal’ scenarios.

Good News for International Students: Government Reintroduced Two-Year Post-Study Work Visa

The UK Government has announced a two-year post-study work visa, similar to a scheme scrapped in 2011.

The new “Graduate Route” will be open to all international students starting their courses in September 2020 and graduating from an approved UK Higher Education Provider. The visa will allow eligible students to work, or look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies. After two years, they will be able to switch to a skilled work visa if their job meets the qualifying criteria.

UK Corporate Immigration updates

The Home Office has published the latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules on 10/09/2019. 

The changes include:

  • Removing PhD level occupations from the Tier 2 (General) cap, and changes to the Tier 2 (General) Shortage Occupation List (SOL); Some new occupations have been added, such as biological scientists and biochemists, and veterinarians, and a small number removed, such as production manager and directors in mining and energy;
  • Revised provisions for access to the EU Settlement Scheme for family members of UK nationals returning from a European Economic Area (EEA) member state or Switzerland, and some other minor changes to the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • Exempting medical professionals who have already passed an English language test from sitting another test before entry on a Tier 2 visa.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to the UK, please email us at enquiries@newlandchase.com or call at +44 (0)207 001 2121

This article was co-written by:

Tony Butterworth

Managing Director
Newland Chase
Tony Butterworth

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