The British government recently announced changes to the EU Settlement Scheme, with particular reference to the method of extending leave (the right to reside in the United Kingdom) under this scheme. The change includes a provision that beginning in September 2023, people with Pre-Settled Status under the scheme will automatically have their status extended by two years before it expires if they have not obtained Settled Status.
In May, the UK government passed three family-related Acts that employers should be aware of: the Neonatal Care Act; the Protection from Redundancy Act; and the Carer’s Leave Act. UK courts have also made notable rulings on noncompete restrictions, and COVID-19-related health and safety detriment claims.
The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union provisionally agreed on rules to make the Schengen visa process digital to make the processing of visas more efficient, cheaper and user friendly.
The Russia/Ukraine conflict has resulted in an exodus of refugees from Ukraine on a level which has not been experienced in Europe since World War II. Currently, close to three million refugees have fled Ukraine and some experts anticipate this number will increase to four to seven million. Countries are taking differing approaches to opening their borders to Ukrainian refugees.
The British government released a policy statement on 19 February 2020 about the future of the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) immigration system, and the proposed changes will make it very costly for U.K. companies to employ European Union (EU) citizens. Following the U.K.’s departure from the EU last month, freedom of movement for EU citizens to the U.K. and for U.K. citizens to and within the EU will cease at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. The government will also scrap the labour market test and the cap on the number of visa applicants.
The Immediate Post-Brexit Landscape
The new relationship between the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the European Union (EU), set in motion by the U.K.’s official departure from the EU, will very likely lead to significant changes to the U.K.’s immigration system, and we are beginning to see a few indications of where the U.K. might be headed.
Currently, we are in a transition period where all rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020. Although little will change until then, negotiations between the U.K. and the EU will begin imminently on the new relationship for 2021. Last week, the British government unveiled a new Global Talent visa route, and the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) released their report on the future immigration system.