Retaining skilled workers and talent in the face of inevitable changes in immigration policy is a key issue for both emerging and established companies. Although Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, has confirmed that the Government is treating the free movement rights of EEA nationals as a top priority in the UK's exit negotiations, a "hard Brexit" will result in EEA nationals facing new travel and work related restrictions in the UK.
Mishcon de Reya has contributed to the Creative Industries Federation’s ‘Global Talent Report’, which was launched on 19 October. The report outlines the crucial role that international talent plays in the UK’s creative industries and why in the UK we must have access to the brightest and best from around the world if we are to remain the global leader in this sector. It sets out clear recommendations on how future immigration systems for both EU and non-EU workers can best support the creative industries, drawing on evidence submitted by Federation members working across the sector and throughout the UK.
We recommend that companies with EEA and Swiss national employees whose legal rights to work in the UK are based on European Treaty rights take steps to obtain documentation from the Home Office recognising their rights of residence or permanent residence in the UK as soon as possible. It is highly likely that those who have formal status documents will be in a more favourable position than those who do not should the immigration rules for EEA and Swiss nationals change.
For those who have not yet been exercising European Treaty rights in the UK for more than five years, our advice remains to apply to the Home Office for Registration Certificates to evidence their exercise of Treaty rights in the UK and their legal right to work.
EEA nationals who have been exercising European Treaty rights in the UK for more than five years may be deemed permanently resident in the UK. As such, they could apply for a Permanent Residence card to evidence that they are permanently resident in the UK and free from immigration restrictions. They could then subsequently apply to become a British citizen.
We must make the case for international talent as powerfully as possible. Please share the CIF's report as widely as you can, including through Twitter using #GlobalTalent.