EU Freedom of Movement in the UK ends
Free movement in the UK officially ended on the 31st December at 11pm, marking the beginning of the UK’s new points-based immigration system.
The Immigration Act received Royal Assent and was signed into law on Wednesday 11 November 2020.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“This time last year the government promised to end free movement, take back control of our borders and introduce a new points-based immigration system. Today we have officially delivered on that promise.”
What does the end of free movement mean for EU citizens?
The end of free movement means that EU citizens will no longer have an automatic right to live and work in the UK and will be subject to tighter immigration controls.
The new points-based immigration system will apply to both non-EU and EU citizens, meaning that EU citizens will also need to apply for and meet the relevant visa requirements. For example, EU citizens who would like to work in the UK will now need to apply for the new Skilled Worker Visa which requires the applicant to secure 70 points.
This will not apply to EU citizens who already held residency in the UK before the new rules came into place, they will continue to hold the same settlement rights that they had before.
The new rules have created concerns that many of the UK’s industries could struggle without foreign workers, with a study revealing that immigrants were responsible for a job boom in the country before the referendum in 2016.
How will freedom of movement effect UK citizens?
The end of free movement will also impact UK citizens who wish to live, work or visit countries in the European Union. A 90 day travel limit has been put in place for UK citizens travelling the Europe during a 180 day period. This means that UK citizens wishing to travel for more than 90 days will need to apply for a relevant visa to do so. UK passports must also be valid for at least 6 months to travel anywhere within the EU. The European Health Insurance Card, which covers medical costs across Europe, will no longer be issued.
UK citizens lawfully residing in the EU before the end of free movement will continue to have most of the same rights. But UK citizens wishing to move to the EU will no longer have an automatic right to live or work there. Instead UK citizens will need to apply for a visa in accordance with the specific countries immigration rules.
Do you need immigration help?
The new immigration changes may seem complex, but our immigration lawyers can help. They are trained in all of the latest immigration changes and can offer professional and reliable immigration advice and assistance for any issue you may be facing.
If you need help with an immigration issue, contact are team today on 01618269783,they can help you immediately.