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How Brexit will affect UK immigration

As Brexit looms, the rest of world wonders what it will mean for UK immigration. For starters, the news headlines have mentioned that the UK will be controlling the numbers and the type of people that are coming into and settling in the UK. Brexit brings an end to many things, including the right for EU citizens to automatically settle and work in the UK.

Theresa May on UK migration

Theresa May struck fear into the hearts of many interested in relocating to the UK in her final Prime Minister’s Questions session of 2018. She stated that the government had serious plans to reduce the numbers in terms of immigration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands.

There’s no denying that Brexit will bring about a plethora of changes in the UK, one major one being that free movement between the EU and UK will no longer be possible. Now it is said that businesses will be given an adjustment time to get used to this change and that workers of a certain skill level will be able to potentially enter and work in the UK for 1 year at a time, once the official change-over has taken place.

What does this mean for UK migration?

Basically, this means that immigrants looking to work in the UK would need to apply for a visa to come into the country. This can be done without a job offer in place. Once the 1-year period is complete, they will need to leave the country and might have to wait another 12 months before applying for a new visa. This can prove problematic for those seeking stable, full-time employment. There would be restrictions in place to control the situation too. No dependants will be allowed to join immigrants with a UK visa, and there will be no provision of access to public funds.

UK immigration white paper

This was detailed in the UK government white paper, on immigration after Brexit. The policy will be set in place and carefully monitored until 2025 when it will be reviewed for further decisions. The white paper explains that this will be implemented to assist businesses that rely on EU labourers to continue to operate seamlessly after Brexit takes place. However, the new Immigration Policy in the UK states clearly that the country will be placing control mechanisms in place to limit how many workers enter the country.

Deal or no deal impact on UK immigration

The final impact that Brexit will have on immigration in the UK will depend on whether Britain gets a deal or not. If there’s a deal set in place, it’s expected that for the 21-month transition period, EU migrants will maintain their free-movement rights. The new immigration regulations will be instated in December 2020 and thereafter, the transition period and free movement will come to an end. 

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