EU Referendum Could Jeopardise Status of EU Nationals in the UK


"Should the UK remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" – This is the divisive question we'll be asked on the 23rd June. If the UK votes to leave the EU, the UK may no longer be bound by the fundamental principle of free movement, calling into question the immigration status of EU nationals in the UK.

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Uncertainty over the Future Immigration Rules

With the referendum date now set and looming, a great deal of uncertainty exists around how immigration rules might change should the public vote to leave.

Reducing immigration is a main factor for the vote to leave; a recent survey by the Telegraph found that securing immigration and the UK's borders was the most popular reason amongst those planning on voting to leave the EU.

A survey by the Guardian of European citizens found that many were currently applying for permanent residence, and were concerned that life would become much more problematic in the event of an "out" vote.

Concerns include whether EU citizens might need to go through a visa or points based system in future, whether they'll need to satisfy a certain salary threshold, and whether it would become harder to visit family in EU member states.

Securing Your Place in the UK

All EU nationals currently have the right to reside in the UK, and those that have been resident in the UK for 5 years or more can apply for the right to permanent residence in the UK.

In light of political changes, securing permanent residence is becoming much more of a priority.

Amongst the uncertainty over a possible Brexit in coming years, increasing numbers of EU nationals are now considering applying for citizenship. Red Squirrel Publishing, which publishes textbooks on citizenship tests, has said to the Independent that they sold 2,270 copies in January, up from 570 in December.

How We Can Help You

At Simpson Millar, our Immigration Law experts provide advice to EU nationals and their families on all aspects of immigration issues. We're familiar with the concerns you'll be facing and want to help give you and your family peace of mind and security for the future.

We're also pleased to have recently launched our Immigration Law services in Polish. We support many Polish clients and know that navigating an unfamiliar legal system can be tricky. Our Polish team can be on hand to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.

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