The latest EU net migration figures of 284,000 to the end of June 2016 are predictable given the fears around the EU referendum and signal concern over future UK immigration policy among EU citizens, while the overall immigration to the UK was 650,000 – the highest estimate recorded.
This latest amplification of statistics further closes the gap between EU and non-EU migration levels, as 284,000 and 289,000 respectively. They also show a further rise in migration to the UK from many of the EU’s recent joiners, especially Romania and Bulgaria, which we expect to continue. Just last month the ONS employment figures also showed that Eastern Europeans are flocking to the UK, with a rise of almost 50,000 EE migrants employed in Britain between July and Sept this year. Many UK based organisations and EU individuals already working here are sharing their concerns with us over future immigration policy and we’re continuing to see an increase in EU citizens and UK organisations seeking Permanent Residence and British Nationality status for themselves and their employees.
With UK immigration laws on EU nationals living in the UK set to change should Article 50 be triggered by March next year it is a worrying time for many, especially in industries like engineering, IT, construction, hospitality, which rely heavily on skills from outside the UK which may decline or relocate if workable solutions are not introduced. We believe that EU nationals should act now to get ahead of any changes if they want to safeguard their future in Britain and both they and employers should be aware of the strict criteria and timings required to become a ‘qualified person’ eligible for British Nationality status.