The Theresa May Brexit Speech and What it Means for Immigration

What does the most recent Theresa May Brexit speech mean for immigration? We're sharing everything EEA nationals need to be prepared.

The Theresa May Brexit Speech and What it Means for Immigration

Theresa May, the Prime Minister for the UK, has taken a firm decision that the UK will, indeed, be leaving the single market.

This decision came to fruition due to the notion that remaining in the single market, thus allowing free movement of people but under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, would now allow Britain to follow through with their controversial decision on Brexit.

During this Theresa May Brexit speech, she has stated that she wanted the UK to remain part of the customs agreement between 27 other EU states but was keeping an open mind on whether it would be through the Customs Union or through other deals.

Both Houses of the Parliament will still vote on the final Brexit deal and that there will be a transitionary period which may require further negotiation. The overall goal being that the UK would no longer be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

Takeaways from the Theresa May Brexit Speech

Additional goals for the Brexit move currently includes:

  • Maintaining travel between the UK and the Irish Republic
  • Tarif-free trade with the EU
  • Customs agreements with the EU
  • New trade agreements with countries outside the EU
  • Continued sharing of intelligence and policing information
  • Control of immigration rights of those in the UK and those UK in the EU

May had the following to say, “It should give British companies the maximum possible freedom to trade with and operate within European markets and let European businesses do the same in Britain. But I want to be clear: what I am proposing cannot mean membership of the single market.”

The Theresa May Brexit speech has many of those wanting to move to the UK for work and prosperity to be uneasy. The new restrictions on travel and control on immigration will certainly have a short-term and long-term impact on the economy of the UK.

Others have called foul on the aggressive stance for trade. It’s yet to be known how Brexit will play out on a global scale. Allies within the EU have stated they will continue to do trade with the UK and remain optimistic.

This has us asking the question: What does this mean for immigration and what can one do about remaining part of the single market through EEA nationality or finding opportunities via Tier 2 general visas.

Brexit, Immigration, and Understanding EEA/Permanent Residency

It’s to be noted from the Theresa May Brexit speech that the decision to leave the EU has its benefits in trade but a large drawback has been what it will do to immigration and those wanting to work within the UK. The decision to leave the EU has made it quite troubling as before one could skip around Europe with relative ease — that, soon, will no longer be the case.

A workaround to the potential loss of immigration opportunities to the UK can be found through an EEA application and acceptance. The EEA (European Economic Area) provides the free movement of goods, services, and people within much of the EU and other select countries that participate.

Processing of the EEA documents typically take 120 days and can be delayed depending on nationality and paperwork. Upon a 5+ year stay within the UK or EEA area leads to the chance of a permanent residency.

A smart choice to pursue those that may be affected by Brexit.

Your EEA residence card may be an endorsement in your passport or a separate document called an immigration status document. Those coming with a family will want to be directed toward an EEA family permit which later leads into individual residency cards for the family members.

A Look into Tier 2 Visas

Tier 2 visas are a little different from the EEA permits.

These Tier 2 visas are work permits are the most common form of permits for entry (for work) in the UK with over 20,000+ issued each year.

The user must meet the following criteria:

  • UK based job offer
  • Employer registered with the Home Office
  • English language proficiency
  • Sufficient maintenance of you (and others coming with)
  • A valid Certificate of Sponsorship from the employer

The shakeup to the United Kingdom has also created a great deal of opportunity for those immigrants seeking economic growth. In fact, the Labour Party has made a call to encourage the end of cuts to corporate taxes — this move could mean tens of thousands of new jobs available to the people.

It’s recommended to update your CV at this time, having additional information from the Theresa May Brexit speech, since we may know of the Brexit decision by the end of Spring.

CV changes you may want to consider are:

  • Updating current residency
  • Reworking (or negotiating) the job title (to add prestige)
  • Utilize keywords for new, in-demand skills
  • Build a healthy mix of references
  • Network and use feedback to improve CV copy

The UK is soon to be open for global business on a scale never seen before. It does mean obtaining a Tier 2 visa may become somewhat difficult but if you’re able to find your way into the UK then you may be on the cusp of incredible economic prosperity.

Big Changes are Coming

There are still many questions to be answered about the Brexit deadline. Much is being said about the possibility of Article 50 expediting the process without parliament but has already since been said will need to go through parliament and approved by MPs.

Many others are wondering if the supreme court can block the Brexit decision, though, again, it’s said the decision will be respected based on the vote of the UK people.

Despite the chance of Brexit happening in May 2017 — and what we’ve learned from the Theresa May Brexit speech — it still may take some years before the transition comes to completion. On the short-term, it’s certain that immigration will be affected in one form or another.

Those on the edge about what Brexit will do for your opportunities to work (or continue working in) the UK should immediately begin to research and take action toward EEA permanent residency or Tier 2 general visas.

Feel lost? Don’t be.

WMImmigration is here to help through valuable resources and advice about UK laws and immigration. Be sure to browse our blog and inquire our services if you feel (and notice) a change in your opportunities due to Brexit.

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