Brexit is a reality we all have to learn to live with

Yesterday British voters decided to terminate membership in the European Union. What does it mean for 3 millions EU nationals living in the UK? What can we expect?

We face the new reality of living in communities split between those wishing to leave and those wanting to stay. Our fellow expats – Eastern Europeans living in cities, town and villages of Great Britain – may interpret the results as an invitation to leave the UK. The interpretation not without grounds taking into consideration focus on immigration from the EU as a driver of Brexit.

We are all responsible for fixing our communities, dealing with tensions and learning to live together after the vote. It is our job – residents of neighbourhoods and communities across the country – to make it happen. But we are asking the government to help. We are calling the British government and local authorities across the country to focus on community cohesion and social inclusion. We are asking the government to lead on making EU expats in Britian feel welcomed and respected.

Practical immigration considerations for Eastern Europeans in the UK

Exiting the EU is a long formal process and it is expected that it would take 2 years to establish new rules governing the relationship between the UK and the EU. We were told that Eastern Europeans as well as all other EU nationals shouldn’t fear because we wouldn’t be asked to leave the country. Freedom of movement shouldn’t be threatened either but we are waiting for conclusive declarations.

The change will affect all of us in a long term. Today we are looking at a new reality, the reality that Eastern European expats living in the UK will radically change their relationship with the country of their residence. It is therefore wise to consider by all our fellow expats to take steps to confirm their residence status and, for those wishing to settle permanently, to consider becoming British citizens.

In order to apply for citizenship we have to apply for permanent residence registration document (known as ‘permanent residence’ or ‘a permanent residence card’) first. EU nationals have to evidence at least 5 years of living in the UK and they have to provide evidence that in this period of time they met requirements of lawful residence in the UK: they worked or were self-employed, were job-seekers, students or self-sustained themselves. If you need advice whether you qualify for a permanent residence document or citizenship and you need help with filling in applications forms: we can help. Call 020 8741 1288 to book an appointment.

In expectation of increased interest in immigration advice and application filling, we are reminding that providing immigration advice without an OISC* registration or solicitor/barrister qualification is a criminal offence that may result in prison sentence and heavy fines. If you think that your adviser operates illegally, immediately contact OISC.

*OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner) is a national regulator of immigration services. OISC makes sure that a client receives the best service for money and immigration services are conducted in client’s best interest. All immigration providers registered and regulated with OISC have to follow strict guidance.