The Home Secretary has announced that the UK government will consult on the design of a new immigration system this summer to prepare for Brexit. Additionally, related media reports suggest that the Prime Minister will announce that the virtually automatic right to permanent residence for EU nationals will not be offered to those entering after March 15.
Background on Consultation
Although little is known as to the content of the consultation, it is expected to cover employer access to migrant workers across low and highly-skilled roles after separation from the European Union.
It is understood that the Migration Advisory Committee will be asked to conduct the related research on the consultation. The committee could provide advice on how many visas need to be issued for workers in key sectors, for instance software engineering, health and social care, farming and hospitality, among other provisions.
Right to Permanent Residence Announcement
According to reports which have not been confirmed by the government, EU migrants who travel to the United Kingdom after it gives formal notice of separation, known as the triggering of Article 50, will not have the virtually automatic right to permanent residence, as is currently afforded to EU nationals. Reports suggest that Article 50 will be triggered on March 15, although the government has not confirmed this.
What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals
It can be inferred from the reports that those who enter after the triggering of Article 50 will need to apply to confirm their status after formal separation. The terms of those applications are not yet known and likely to be informed by the Migration Advisory Committee’s advice.
It is not clear whether EU nationals in the United Kingdom before Article 50 will be awarded permanent residence automatically upon exit or whether they will need to meet the five-year residency requirement.