People Management speaks to Karen Kaur – EU nationals need to register under EU Settlement Scheme to avoid uncertainty

In an attempt to provide guidelines for EU nationals living and working in the UK, the government has announced that under a no-deal Brexit, EU nationals arriving in the UK after 29 March would have to apply for leave to remain in order to stay more than three months.

The government would introduce an interim arrangement that would allow European Economic Area (EEA) citizens and their families to come to the UK to visit, work or study for three months, after which they would need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain.

This would give them a further three years, after which they would need to apply again under the skills-based immigration system that the government hopes to have in place by 2021.

People Management contacted Migrate for their comments:

Karen Kaur, Migrate’s senior immigration consultant said an interim period would prevent a “complete shutdown” on recruiting from the EU in the event of ‘no-deal’, but it would be a “temporary reprieve”.

There would be more uncertainty after the three years as it is still unclear whether EU nationals with temporary reprieve will meet the new migration rules.

“Yes they’re still going to be able to stay for up to three years, but after that they’ll be expected to leave again if they don’t meet the minimum threshold,” she said, adding that medium and highly skilled workers were likely to meet the threshold, but lower-skilled workers would be most affected.

Migrate UK advises businesses that know they are recruiting EU nationals to “get them into the country before 29 March” and ensure they are registered under the government’s EU Settlement Scheme to avoid the uncertainty. “At the moment we know that a pre-settled or settled application is not costing anything and the decision process is quite swift,” she said.


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EU Settlement Scheme


HR Magazine talks to Jonathan Beech

The government has launched its EU Settlement Scheme, designed to grant post-Brexit residency to EU citizens and their family members, who have until 30 June 2021 to apply.

The benefit of this scheme is that it allows employers to apply early with their workers and spread a sense of security throughout their organisation that they are making steps towards securing a future for them and their family.

However, this comes with a number of obstacles. Firstly, each applicant must hold a valid passport, and with many EU nationals relying solely on their National ID cards, this would restrict them in applying. Secondly, to start the application process, the migrant must download the Home Office app from Google Play Store or find a location (there are 13 locations) where an Android phone can be used.

Lastly, with there being a huge number of applicants looking to apply it is more than likely that the system will fall over when attempting to process the millions of applications which will undoubtedly be flooding in. However, this is one of the aims of the public test phase to combat any issues with the system prior to the nationwide launch in March 2019.

The new scheme will not backdate settled status. Currently European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who have resided in the UK for longer than five years may be eligible under certain circumstances to apply to naturalise as British citizens immediately. But under the new regime people who have lived in the UK for over six years and satisfy the other requirements will still be required to wait a year before they can apply to naturalise as a British citizen.

The new EU registration scheme allows for EU nationals to apply for settled/pre-settled status before the scheme goes live to all EU nationals on 29 March 2019.


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Government launches EU Settlement Scheme

People Management asked Karen Kaur for her comments

The benefit of the scheme was that it allowed employers and HR professionals to apply early and “spread a sense of security” through their workforce.

However, there is the potential for a huge number of applicants looking to apply.  Therefore it is more than likely that the system will fall over in the attempt to process millions of applications which will undoubtedly be flooding in.

So saying that, one of the aims of the public test phase is to combat any issues with the system prior to the nationwide launch in March 2019.


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Following MP’s rejection of Brexit deal, employers’ concerns grow over loss of talent

Following MPs’ rejection of Theresa Mays’ Brexit deal and the pending confidence vote, whatever happens next whether it’s a renegotiation, another referendum or even a call for a general election, the closer we get to March 29th then the greater likelihood of a stay of execution for EU nationals and of Article 50 being delayed.

Despite the outcome, this unprecedented uncertainty, anxiety and concern is continuing over the future of EU national workers and their dependents as well as employers trying to safeguard the skills they need to grow their business in times of uncertainty. 

Employers struggling against a depleting workforce should take immediate action, to safeguard their skills. Where employers haven’t already done so, identify gaps in your current and future workforce and highlight whether they’ve got the means of remaining in the UK in the future, be this via a residence permit / card or settlement / permanent residency.

Companies with genuine skilled vacancies should consider applying for a sponsor licence so they have access to a wider pool of talent. In addition, every business must have the correct permitted documentation to employ EU workers no matter what the outcome will be between now and March.”

Published in Real Business, Business Leader, Oxford Mail, Witney Gazette