What Does the Withdrawal Agreement Say about Immigration

The United Kingdom’s withdrawal agreement with the European Union, which came into effect on January 1, 2021, has significant implications for the country’s immigration policy. The deal has ended the free movement of people between the UK and the EU, and has introduced new rules and regulations for immigration from the EU and other parts of the world.

Under the agreement, EU citizens who were residing in the UK before December 31, 2020, are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, which allows them to continue living and working in the UK. However, those who arrived after this date are subject to new immigration rules, which apply to all non-UK citizens.

The new system, which is points-based, rates potential immigrants according to criteria such as their skills or qualifications, their ability to speak English, and whether they have a job offer from a UK employer. Applicants must score a minimum of 70 points to be eligible for a visa.

While the points-based system applies to all non-UK citizens, it does not apply to Irish citizens. Irish citizens have the right to live and work in the UK under a separate agreement between the UK and Ireland.

The withdrawal agreement also includes provisions for family members of EU citizens who are living in the UK. Under the agreement, family members can join their EU citizen relative in the UK, even if they are not themselves EU citizens. However, this right is subject to certain conditions, such as financial requirements and the need to have a valid relationship with the EU citizen.

The agreement also contains provisions for the UK`s participation in certain EU schemes, such as the Erasmus student exchange program and the Horizon Europe research initiative. However, the UK`s future participation in these schemes is subject to negotiation and may be subject to change in the future.

Overall, the withdrawal agreement introduces significant changes to UK immigration policy. While EU citizens who were residing in the UK before December 31, 2020, are eligible to continue living and working in the country, new rules and regulations apply to those who arrived after this date. The introduction of a points-based immigration system means that future immigration to the UK will be based on a range of criteria, such as skills, language ability and job offers.

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