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EU Nationals working the UK – effect of Brexit

There are no significant threats to EU Nationals and their families already living and working in the UK as a result of Brexit. Future changes to the laws are inevitable but at the moment we do not know what those changes will be as they depend on the results of negotiations between the UK and the EU which could take up to two years.

EU Passport

Previously with changes to our immigration law we have agreed transitional measures are put in place to protect the rights of migrants here under the older systems. At the moment we do not know whether these transitional measures will be put in place during the next set of negotiations but we would like to think that they will be. It seems likely that some sort of worker registration scheme will be introduced for EU nationals already here to protect their right to continue to live and work in the UK. However, it is uncertain whether people from the EU who come into Britain between now and our formal separation from the EU, will have a permanent right to live and work in the UK.

Under current EU law, there is no requirement for EU Nationals to obtain residence documents as proof of their status. However, given the imminent changes it is likely that many EU Nationals will want to apply for residence documents as proof of their status here, as soon as possible. The options about how to do this are given below:-

Registration Certificate:

This proves the right of an EEA national to live and work in the UK. They will need to provide evidence they are living in the UK and exercising an EU treaty Right. Non-EEA Family members of qualified EEA nationals can also prove their right to live and work in the UK by applying for a UK Residence Card.

Permanent Residence:

After exercising an EU Treaty right in the UK for 5 years, an EEA National is eligible to apply for a document certifying permanent residence. Once they have permanent residence, there are no restrictions on their living in the UK. It’s mandatory to obtain a document certifying permanent residence prior to being able to apply for British Citizenship.


After the person has held permanent residence for at least 12 months, they will be able to apply to naturalise as a British Citizen. They must pass the Life in the UK Test and meet the English language requirement prior to applying.

If you have any questions or queries about the above and how it impacts your company then give us a call.

1 Jones House
High Street
Tel +44 (0) 1628 622722

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We can help you hire and retain the best employees, manage your employees more successfully, and improve employee motivation. Whatever your HR outsourcing needs, In2HR can assist any company within the Thames Valley areas, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxon and Surrey. So why not contact us today.

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