EU workers will have no special rights after Brexit

According to the Cabinet of the United Kingdom, EU passport holders will face the same immigration policies as those from outside the bloc after Brexit.

The new immigration system will be based on skills rather than nationality. This will give preference to the highly skilled workers. 

There are however, fears that limiting low skilled EU migrants my damage UK economy. 

Some consider such policy to be a mistake, and argue that it would be more sensible to give the EU citizens a priority and special treatment.

The agreement means that there will be no nationality bias when granting permission to work and live in the UK. 

Currently passport holders of EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein can travel to the UK without any barriers, regardless of the skills. 

For those outside the mentioned countries strict immigration rules apply

Usually citizens of other countries need to apply for an entry permit before travelling to the UK. 

There are several visa categories, ranging from Tier 1 (Investors, Entrepreneurs and «Exceptional Talent») to Tier 5 for those seeking short term study or voluntary work. 

Tier 2 category is reserved for the skilled workers, and Tier 4 for long-term students. Currently no Tier 3 visas (unskilled labour) are being granted.

Visas are being given out on a points based system. For instance, those willing to work in the UK under the Tier 2 category need a minimum salary of £30 000, up almost £10 000 from 2011. People get more points for higher salaries, as well as for meeting other requirements. 

Current policies limit the annual number of Tier 2 to 20 700, meaning that every year hundreds of specialists are not able to receive an entry permit. 

Should the same rules apply to EU citizens after Brexit, securing UK visa will become even more challenging.


The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. The «implementation period» will follow, lasting until 31 December 2020. 

During this transition, EU citizens arriving in the UK will have the same rights as those came beforehand. The same would apply to the UK citizens travelling to Europe. 

However, this transition period is a subject to negotiations, and will only happen if Europe and the UK achieve an agreement.

Unfortunately, news coming from the government do not indicate any positive outcome yet. Considering the UK is leaving the block in a just few months, we recommend all our clients to apply for British citizenship as soon as possible to avoid uncertainty and long waiting lists.

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