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What does Brexit mean for expats?

By February 21, 2017October 3rd,

What does Brexit mean for expats?

February 21, 2017

Brexit is on the minds of many expats especially those moving to the UK, those already living in the UK and all the British citizens living in the EU. The latest news is that if you are an EU worker coming to work in Britain, you could be denied benefits if you fail to acquire a job that pays for private rent.

Theresa May is currently looking for a mutual agreement with Brussels on the rights of both the three million EU citizens working in the UK and the 1.2 million Britons living in EU member states and a cut-off date for the “right-to-remain” in Britain is being hotly debated.

The possibility of a second Brexit vote?

Leading lawyers have concluded that MPs are legally entitled to a second vote on whether to enact Brexit once negotiations are complete – which means Article 50 (the formal mechanism through which a country can officially notify the European Union of its intention to leave) could be revocable. However, suggestions that it could be reversed have prompted concerns that the politicians will be ignoring the will of the British people.

What does Brexit mean for South African expats?

You won’t be affected if you are a South African in the UK with a South African passport or if you have a UK passport, which entitles you to live and work in the UK as a UK citizen. However if you are a South African with an EU passport living in the UK, it’s uncertain whether you will be impacted and this uncertainty has prompted a surge in applications for permanent residency. Since the June referendum, permanent residency applications from EU nationals in the UK have increased by almost 50%.

Theresa May has claimed that immigration will be a red line in the Brexit negotiations which means that South Africans with an EU passport or any European citizen arriving in the UK in the future will inevitably be subjected to more restrictions than those already living in the UK. However most politicians are in agreement that EU citizens already living in the UK should not be affected.

The looming cut-off date

If you’re planning to immigrate to the UK with an EU passport, you should plan to do it before the “cut-off” date, which is when the rules will change. As mentioned earlier in this post, the date is being hotly debated and the announcement of it could result in a big increase in migration as people rush to meet the deadline.

How harshly will Europe reciprocate?

A leaked EU document has indicated that the EU’s 27 member states could make life difficult for British expats residing in their countries. The document, drawn up by the European parliament, suggests that member states could copy Britain’s tough residency standards and impose similar requirements on UK expats who wish to remain in the EU.

If you’re busy planning on immigrating to the UK or Europe and need advice about your financial migration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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