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Immigration Solicitors Talk Brexit Consequences

It would be an understatement to say that Brexit is confusing.

Unless you’re an expert in international politics, we imagine you’re probably feeling a bit lost.

At the moment all that seems to be covered in the news is complex political topics, with what Brexit actually means for the average person often being left out of the narrative.

So, we decided to help you out.

We asked two of our immigration solicitors in Manchester a range of questions about Brexit and its consequences in the hope that they could shed a little light on what’s going on.

If you think your immigration status might be affected by Brexit, feel free to get in touch. Our immigration solicitors will be able to provide you with advice tailored to your personal situation.

Brexit consequences

Have You Begun to See the Impact of Brexit on Immigration?

Shayheda, Head of Immigration:

“When the referendum result was first announced, the amount of enquiries we got shot up.

Since then enquiries have increased, especially concerning residence cards for those who already live here. People are wanting to get residence cards to be safe. It’s not compulsory but what we’re finding is a lot of people want one so they’ve got some record of them being in the UK.” 

Cathryn, Trainee Immigration Solicitor:

“There is definitely a sense of urgency with people wanting to get their applications in as soon as possible, especially amongst family members of EEA nationals.

People are understandably quite worried about themselves and their families, and what the Brexit consequences will be.”

“For example, I have a case at the moment – he’s Irish and she’s from the US. They’ve had a plan to move to the UK for a while, but because of Brexit and its possible consequences they’ve been thinking that if they leave it another year it might be too late for them to relocate to the UK and rely on the EEA regulations.

They’re really rushing to get it done now. I think Brexit is the main motivator in them wanting to do it now rather than taking their time.” 

What Do You Think Will be Affected Most by Brexit?

Shayheda:

“I can almost guarantee that there’s going to be more criminal checks at airports. Even now, every time you scan your passport there is some kind of checking system, so that will become even more stringent.

I also think that businesses, big and small, will feel the consequences of Brexit pretty quickly. It’s a fact that people from European countries tend to come and fill up the lower skilled jobs.

If they aren’t able to do that anymore, those positions won’t be filled and businesses will suffer.”

Cathryn:

“At the moment there is a checking system called Eurodac under the Dublin III Regulation which allows us to cooperate with other EU states in the area of international protection. If someone has claimed asylum in an EU country and has been fingerprinted, when they come to the UK it will flag up.

The system currently allows us to request that the country in which the asylum seeker has already claimed asylum ‘take back’ the asylum seeker. It is unlikely that Eurodac would continue for us in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

This would have huge consequences for the way the UK currently processes asylum claims and would impact the ability of asylum seekers in the UK to reunite with their family members in other countries.

Like Shayheda said, businesses will definitely feel the consequences of Brexit. But this then also has a knock on affect to employment, the economy, and even the cost of living.

Many people are cautious of starting up a new business at the moment due to Brexit uncertainty. I am expecting to see a drought of fresh talent and innovation in the UK – and who would blame them for going elsewhere?”

Do You Think One of the Consequences of Brexit Will Be a Rise in Visa Refusals?

Cathryn:

“I think settled status applications will be far easier than permanent residence applications. The requirement for some EEA nationals to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance was virtually unknown and meant a lot of people were caught out and were having to wait a good few more years to apply for permanent residence.

This isn’t a requirement when applying  for settled status, meaning more people will now be eligible to settle simply on the basis of their residence.

However, for newcomers it’s going to get harder, one hundred percent. It will act as a deterrent and we will certainly lose talent to other EAA member states.”

Shayheda:

“I agree. People who have been in the system before won’t struggle. It’ll be easier for them than it has been before.

But I think there’s going to be more stringent checks on UK benefits, so whereas now certain migrants are able to access child benefit, tax credit and so on, that’s going to stop after Brexit.

I just think people will reconsider before they move to the UK especially if benefits are going to be restricted and not as accessible.

It’s a shame because although there are always going to be people trying to cut corners, there are a great amount more who actually are entitled to those benefits but won’t be eligible to access them anymore.”

Finally, Do You Think Raising the Threshold to £30,000 Will Exclude Educated but Entry-Level Workers?

Shayheda:

“Yes. It’s just ridiculous. Entry-level jobs just don’t pay that much, so it excludes so many young professionals who are highly skilled and could be an asset to the UK and our economy.

It means that low-skilled and skilled work sectors will both suffer from a lack of people to fill jobs because of higher salaries and higher skill set.”

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