Yesterday Article 50 was officially triggered. We can now stop talking about ‘if’ and ‘when’ the momentous event happens, that ship has now sailed.
And many EU nationals are already feeling the consequences of Brexit in unexpected ways.
It has been reported today that banks are already denying EU nationals mortgages due to the uncertainty of their residency status.
Brexit Hotline: 0207 936 9961
Mortgages being denied
Patricia Connell, a French national who has lived in Britain for 30 years, told The Independent that she has heard cases of lending institutions refusing to grant EU nationals mortgages if they could not show they had permanent residence status. Rumours are also circulating that employers are breaching discrimination laws by only offering fixed term contracts to EU citizens who do not have a permanent residence Card.
Brexit has already brought hundreds of complex issues to the surface that were never considered by those behind the EU Referendum (including, cynics argue, was what happens if Leave wins). Many would contend that mortgage lenders must manage their risk or face financial ruin. If they have no guarantee that an EU national applying for a loan will be entitled to remain in the country, how can they justify lending them hundreds of thousands of pounds?
Employers are in an even more vulnerable position. Imagine if you run a small business with narrow profit margins. You have two ideal candidates applying for a vacant position; one a UK citizen and one an EU national. The job requires a significant investment in training. Do you risk taking on a person who may or may not be permitted to remain in Britain in the long-term? Is it fair to ask business owners to shoulder such a risk to their growth and bottom line?
landlords are another group who must manage their financial exposure. Most landlords have mortgages on the homes they are renting out, therefore long-term, stable tenants are highly sought after. Who could expect a landlord to choose an EU national over a British Citizen or even someone with Indefinite Leave to Remain if the latter groups can guarantee they have a long-term right to remain in residence.
EU nationals’ rights must be clarified immediately
Employers, landlords and even banks are not to blame for the current mess we find ourselves in. The vulnerable, precarious state that EU nationals living in the UK currently find themselves in, is the fault of the UK government. Both immigration solicitors and pressure groups such as 3Million have repeatedly done their best to implore the British government to offer some guarantee of the rights of EU nationals living in the UK but to no avail. Theresa May has always insisted that no guarantees can be made until the EU bloc outlines how it will treat UK nationals living in the remaining 27 member states.
Few people would have predicted the consequences facing EU nationals living in the UK, who are effectively being left adrift in an immigration ‘no man's land’ until the British government grants them the right to stay permanently. Or not.
Either way, the best protection available for EU nationals who have made the UK their home is through an EU Permanent Resident Card or obtaining British Citizenship. If you are unsure of whether you meet the criteria - for example, if you are a student and you do not have comprehensive sickness insurance, an immigration lawyer can provide you with the best advice as to your current residency status.
It is likely that as negotiations progress, we will hear about more situations where EU nationals are paying the price for a Brexit most of them never wanted. We can only hope that the government solidifies their residency rights before any more ‘surprises’ occur.
OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London. By making an appointment with one of our immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. We can assist you in applying for a permanent residence Card and British Citizenship and answer any question you may have on your rights to remain in the UK following Brexit.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this blog, please phone our London office on `0207 936 9960.
For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 020 7936 9960 or contact us online.
We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, student visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, asylum and human rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.
Our top immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.
Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0207 936 9960.
By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.
Posted on: Thursday, 30 March, 2017