Immigration rule changes announced in the event of a “no deal” Brexit

On 24 October 2019, the Home Office published its Statement of changes to the UK Immigration Rules which, for the most part, will ONLY take effect in the event of a “no deal” Brexit taking place i.e. if the UK leaves the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement. One of the key changes, in the event of a no deal Brexit, will be the introduction of a new immigration status called European Temporary Leave to Remain, or as the Home Office like to call it “Euro TLR”.

Applications for Euro TLR can only be made by an individual who is in the UK and is:

  • An EEA citizen (a citizen of an EU member state, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland); or
  • A family member of an EEA citizen

It will be a free online application, which is likely to be a very similar system to the current EU Settlement Scheme. In most instances, individuals will need to submit an application for Euro TLR by 31 December 2020. If an application is successful, the individual will be granted a visa for ONE period of 36 months – it will not be possible to extend. As such, once an individual’s Euro LTR visa expires, they will need to apply for a relevant visa under the future immigration system (which is expected to be in force from 2021 onwards).

What should businesses do?

It seems that Euro TLR will be confirmed and granted digitally, so employers will need to carry out digital right to work checks, which is sufficient to show the “holder” of this digital status can legally work in the UK. However, as mentioned above, an individual will only be able to apply for Euro TLR if a no deal Brexit takes place.

As it currently stands, whilst the UK remains a member of the EU, employers can continue to accept EU passports and identity cards as proof of the holder having a right to work in the UK. In addition, employers can also accept documents issued by the Home Office such as a residence card issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations as proof of having a right to work, as well as status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme.

We can assist with all matters of business and personal immigration including: assisting with right to work checks/ procedures; applications for a maintenance of a Tier 2 sponsor licence; immigration compliance; and applications under the immigration rules. If you have any questions, require immigration assistance, and/ or would like to subscribe to the immigration newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact Vincent Chung: vincent.chung@dixcartlegal.com.

The data contained within this document is for general information only. No responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies. Readers are also advised that the law and practice may change from time to time. This document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute accounting, legal or tax advice. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.