Post Brexit, UK visa rules to change for Non-EU and EU Countries

UK Visa

Most employers who hire EU and Non-EU citizens are putting a halt to their hiring plans in anticipation of an overhaul of visa policies post Brexit. Employers can retain top talent through PR applications for employees from EEA regions and visa extensions through Indefinite Leave to Remain applications for Non-EU employees

UK PR applications for applicants from the EEA regions:

New rules effected since 2015, November require citizens from the EEA region to apply for a PR before petitioning for a UK citizenship. As per the regulations, one need not renew a PR and hence it reduces any threats arising out of visa policy changes implemented in the UK. Unless there is a serious breach of public policy or security, a PR holder may not be deported from the UK. One can also sponsor family members from a third country regardless of their status of a qualified person.

Eligibility for a PR:

An EEA national must prove that she/he has been continuously residing in the UK for a period of 5 years. Here, residing continuously in the UK implies that the applicant should not have been outside the country for a period exceeding 6 months. An EEA citizen, during this tenure of 5 years, should be abiding by their treaty rights which require them to be a qualified person who has been employed, self-employed, student, self sustaining or a jobseeker during their stay in Britain. Family as well as selective non-family members (family in the past) can also be included under the applicant’s PR application. Senior citizens who have retired and have been no more staying in Britain as qualified persons with a permanent disability or self-employed in other EEA states are also considered for a PR application.

Requirements for a PR:

The Permanent Residence application fee is £65 and the maximum processing time is six months.

For EEA citizens, there is no further requirement to take an English language or a Life in the UK test.

Non-EU Citizens and their application for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK:

People who hail from Non-EU countries (or in some cases, dependent applicants from EEA regions) demonstrative of a commitment to residing in the UK with a temporary visa are allowed to apply for a visa to Remain Indefinitely in the UK so as to avail a long-term visa/PR/Citizenship. This process is similar to a PR application process for EU citizens with certain added restrictions.

Eligibility for a visa to remain indefinitely in the UK:

The threshold for any permanent or long-term visa to the UK remains 5 continuous years with an absence from the country for a period that doesn’t exceed 6 months in a given year. The maximum stay period for Tier 2 General visa is 6 years, without any option for renewals and has a small window of 1 year for applicants to apply for a permanent residence. Should the applicant not be granted the visa to remain indefinitely in the UK, she/he will be subjected to a cooling-off period for 12 months, thus preventing them from entering the UK borders.

Requirements for a visa to remain indefinitely in the UK:

Non-EU citizens who have a valid visa and have resided in the UK during the entire period of its validity are eligible to apply for this visa. In case of workers who are on a Tier 2 visa, proof of continuous employment must be provided along with their ILR application. Dependent partners of main applicants also need to prove that he/she has a relationship that is genuine in nature and must meet certain financial criteria. It takes about 6 months’ time for an applicant to receive her/his ILR visa and application cost is approximately £1,875.

Test for English Language proficiency and Life in the United Kingdom

Non-EU citizens, who are between the ages 18-64 years, are also required to pass a test to prove their proficiency in English language and take up an exam to exhibit one’s familiarity with the traditions and customs of the United Kingdom. Applicants must pass these tests with a minimum score of 75% and above to be eligible for the ILR visa. The test doesn’t come with any caps on the number of attempts; however applicants will have to pay a fresh fee during each attempt.

Interested to work overseas? At Y-Axis, our experienced process consultants will not only counsel you on a career abroad but also assist you with the documentation and the processing of your visa application. Call us today to schedule a free counselling session and kick-start your plans.

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