How will Brexit affect expat workers?
If you’re a European citizen living in the UK, or a British citizen living in Europe, it’s worth bearing in mind the impact that Brexit will have on your legal residence and work permit.
European citizens in the UK
Currently, 3 million Europeans live in the UK. If you’re one of them, you may qualify for amnesty, as long as you can:
- Prove that you live in the UK
- Prove that you have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years and are eligible for permanent residence
If there is an agreement signed on 29th March, the final date for applying for amnesty will be the end of June 2021. If no agreement is signed, the final date will be the end of June 2020. This amnesty applies to European citizens and their families (defined by European law as a spouse or legal partner, parents, children, or dependent grandchildren).
British citizens in Europe
The Contingency Plan agreed upon by the Spanish government is intended to guarantee the rights of British citizens. However, if no agreement is signed on 29th March:
- As of March 29th, the date scheduled for the signing of the Brexit agreement, companies that have contracted British workers must prove that all employees have the legal right to residence.
- If no agreement is reached, Spanish companies should bear in mind that the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union means the end of the free movement of British citizens in Spain.
- Companies that do not have their British workers legalized according to established regulations could face sanctions and other negative consequences when repaying arrears or in the case of work-related injuries.
- It is imperative that companies with British workers ensure that these citizens have an EU Registration Certificate prior to March 29.
- The Contingency Plan should mitigate any consequences for British citizens’ pensions and social security benefits, guaranteeing these citizens’ rights while resident in Spain.
Since legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing on this article should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel. The content on this article is offered only as information and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. You should always consult a suitably qualified lawyer regarding any specific legal problem or matter.
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