Freedom of movement came to an end at 11 pm on December 31st, meaning UK citizens can no longer live and work in the European Union without meeting relevant visa requirements. The UK visa points system requirements now apply to newly arriving EU citizens planning to work in Britain.
UK and EU citizens already holding residency in Europe or Britain will have the same rights as before the January 1st change. Around one million UK citizens have legal residence in European Countries, while over three million EU citizens have residency in the UK.
EU citizens looking to live and work in the UK will have to go through mandatory visa requirements to gain a skilled work visa based on a newly introduced points structure. Visa requirements are also required for UK citizens wishing to live and work in European Union countries. Exceptions between Ireland and Britain are in place, being part of the Common Travel Area, so citizens from both countries can come and go as they please with no travel or work visa requirements needed.
What does Brexit mean for Travel?
A 90-day travel limit is also in place for UK citizens travelling in Europe during a 180 day period. Those looking to stay beyond 90 days will need to apply for the relevant visa. UK passports need to be valid for at least 6 months to be able to travel in the EU. Anything under the six-month mark may result in a refused visit visa.
UK citizens are required to obtain their health insurance before travel. The European Health Insurance Card will no longer be issued for UK citizens, which covers medical care across Europe. However, a new system regarding medical cover will be introduced to UK and EU citizens can be covered when visiting Britain and the rest of Europe.
UK visa points based system for skilled workers
Britain's government implemented a points-based system, which it is claimed will attract the "brightest and the best" overseas skilled workers wishing to move to the UK. However, it will now be much more difficult for overseas workers from the EU to work in the EU. The new points-based system is required for overseas workers to obtain a ‘skilled work visa’ to live and work in the UK. Applicants will need to meet a minimum 70 point mark to gain a skilled work visa.
UK officials will assess EU and non-EU citizens equally. There is no limit on the number of skilled work visas for overseas workers issued each year, but the UK government claims they will bring immigration numbers down once Brexit changes commence.
Specific workforce sectors like agriculture and age care may be affected as EU low-skilled workers make up a large portion of the workforce. 20% of Britain's agricultural sector comes from overseas while 840,000 workers make up the strong care sector. Unless applicants meet the points-based visa requirements, they will not meet the entry requirements.
Time will tell if Brexit serves as an obstacle for Britain and the EU
Viewed by the UK government, the Brexit changes allow Britain to "take back control" of its borders. The new immigration laws will lead to tighter controls on those coming in and out of the country. However, these changes will serve as an obstacle for employers looking to hire overseas. The Government claims that new Brexit policies can bring order back to Britain's borders.
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