UK/European Union: Freedom of Movement for European Union Nationals Remains in Effect
On June 24, 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (EU). Pursuant to Article 50 of the EU Treaty, the British government must notify the EU of its withdrawal. Notification is not expected before a new Prime Minister is selected, and once commenced, separation procedures are expected to take at least two years. Until separation is fully negotiated and the United Kingdom exits the EU, EU citizens will retain their right to reside and work in the UK and British citizens will retain their right to reside and work in other EU member states.
The future of UK immigration law is expected to change significantly with separation from the EU. The UK has not decided whether free movement of EU nationals will be limited or cease altogether. In addition, the UK is not a signatory to the Schengen Agreement, which impacts short-term business travel. After separation, EU nationals may need to apply for an entry visa and vice versa for purposes of business or tourism. Visa waiver programs will also need to be negotiated and this will take additional time to implement fully.
Although there is no immediate impact or action needed for British nationals currently working or residing in an EU member state or for EU nationals working or residing in the UK, employers should commence tracking their EU workforce in the event work authorization and visas should later be required. In advance of the United Kingdom’s separation from the EU, EU nationals may apply for a registration certificate in the UK to document their immigration status. Also, if otherwise eligible, EU nationals may file for UK permanent resident status or citizenship.
Gibney will continue to monitor this matter and provide updates as they become available. If you have any questions regarding this alert, please contact your designated Gibney representative, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is provided as general information for clients and friends of Gibney, Anthony & Flaherty, LLP. It does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. The contents of this article may be considered attorney advertising in some states.