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Sanwar Ali UK Visa Latest Brexit Update April 2019

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By Sanwar Ali

The Brexit drama continues.  The good news is that EU citizens can definitely stay in the UK on a long term or permanent basis.  EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can apply for settled status if they have lived in the UK for five years or pre-settled status if they have lived in the UK for a shorter period.  If you are in this situation, probably best to apply for this soon.   It also seems that the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 visa scheme will continue for a long time to come.

EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens should apply soon

The EU has agreed an extension until 31 October 2019 for Brexit.  If in the meantime the UK Parliament and the EU can agree terms for Brexit, Britain could leave earlier.  EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens who do not currently live in the UK and wish to do so long term, should consider coming to the UK soon so that they can gain residence status in the UK.  There continues to be uncertainty about exactly when free movement will end.  

If there is a Brexit deal then it seems likely that citizens of these Countries will benefit from free movement for a long transitional period.  However, If in the next few months there is a "no deal" Brexit it will be much more difficult for nationals of these Countries, who are not already in the UK, to live and work in the UK on a long term basis.

UK Parliament difficulty in reaching Brexit Agreement

So far it has been very difficult to agree the terms of Brexit.  If and when it happens is very uncertain.  This will affect the speed of change of UK visa regulations.   It also means that people who wish to come to the UK from the EU/EEA and Switzerland, and who have not established residence status in the UK yet should make a decision soon.

UK Start-Up Visa scheme and UK Innovator visa scheme already started

The UK Start-Up visa Scheme and UK Innovator visa Scheme started on what was supposed to be “Brexit Day” on 29 March 2019.  These visa schemes are in some ways easier and at the same time more difficult than the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme.  The investment requirements are much smaller for most people compared to the previous Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa scheme.  However, there are uncertainties over Endorsing Body requirements and processing times for the new UK visa schemes.

Following the closure of the Tier 1 entrepreneur visa on 29 March, 2019 the UK innovator visa is now officially open for applications.   However, how many of the Assessing Bodies are actually ready?  It could take a number of months before assessing bodies can consider new applications under the new UK visa schemes.

The UK innovator visa replaces the entrepreneur visa and has been described as: “A route for more experienced businesspeople looking to establish a business in the UK. Applicants will have an innovative, viable and scalable business idea which is supported by an endorsing body…”

Other UK Visa changes may take years

Other changes to the UK visa system will take some time to implement.  This may very well be affected by the actual Brexit date if and when this is agreed.   There have also been numerous concerns that the changes are not really suitable for a post Brexit future.  The good news is that the Government is to allow all EU/EEA and Swiss citizens and their dependents already in the UK the right to stay in the UK.  The same is likely to be true for arrivals from these Countries during a long Brexit transitional period (assuming a Brexit deal).  Who knows.  Perhaps Brexit will not happen after all. can help with Tier 2 visas, Sponsorship Licences, Tier 1 visas and other visas

If you need help with a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence, Tier 1 visas, UK Innovator visa, etc can help. Call 0344 991 9222 for further details. has been in the visa business for over thirty years, and has helped thousands of people to study, work, invest and live in the UK. We represent clients under Section 84 of the 1999 Immigration Act, and can advise and assist with your UK visa application.