How Brexit Changed Immigration Forever

How Brexit Changed Immigration Forever

Curious about how Brexit changed immigration forever in the UK? Here, we will go through all the facts and figures you should know about.

Immigration has played a key role in the UK’s success for many years, but with more recent changes in the law, we are all left with a sense of uncertainty. How Brexit changed immigration forever to and from the UK is not something that we can overlook, because it affects not just the UK, but the world.

Around half a million Brits choose to leave the UK every year, with more than 30,000 more people emigrating from the UK in 2023 compared to 2022. However, with the UK no longer being a part of the European Union, not only is leaving the country more difficult, but it is more challenging to enter it, too.

Synergy Immigration Solutions is a leading immigration agency based in London that keeps you informed. From understanding visitor visas to digital immigration plans, our aim is to help you change your life and help you get to where you want to be. 

Brexit – What You Need to Know

Brexit – What You Need to Know

Brexit was the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union. This happened due to a referendum that the Conservative Party government held in late June 2016, where 51.89% of the British population voted to leave, and 48.11% voted to stay – a minimal margin of just 3.78% between them.

When the UK left the EU, immigration changed forever. Not only immigration, but Brexit also affected the job market and the overall economic landscape in the UK since trade barriers were put up and free movement came to a halt.

Free Movement is No More

All EU nationals and citizens have the right to freely move between other EU member states under Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). This fundamental right allowed capital, goods, and services to move freely between member states, and discrimination founded in nationality regarding work is prohibited.

Free movement also allowed individuals to travel and work within the EU freely, whether for retirement, family, study, or professional purposes. It allowed people from the UK to move to France, Germany, or any other EU member state.

Now, however, with Brexit, UK citizens can no longer move to EU countries, as we are no longer members. This has made the process of moving to another country far more complicated than it used to be, and immigration was changed forever.

Labour Shortages

As a result of Brexit and the absence of free movement, Brexit also resulted in labour shortages around the country. Because of the new laws and rules in place, people from the EU and other European countries were no longer able to easily apply for the correct visas, like the Temporary Work Visa, to work in the UK. 

How Brexit Changed Immigration Forever

How Brexit Changed Immigration Forever

How Brexit changed immigration forever goes beyond the UK, but this has affected the European Union and many other countries if their citizens wish to move here.

The New Immigration System

The UK’s new points-based immigration system was introduced in 2021, and treats EU citizens the same way that it treats citizens from other countries. Its purpose is to reduce net migration by restricting it, only allowing skilled workers into the country where they can add to the economy.  

The primary type of visa under the new immigration system is the skilled worker visa, which we will explain below.

Skilled Worker Visas

In order to get a Skilled Worker visa, the majority of people need a job for either a middle or high-skilled job that will meet salary thresholds. The previous immigration system the UK used only allowed non-EU citizens to work graduate jobs in the UK if they were earning a minimum of £30,000, while the skilled worker visa’s minimum earning is £38,700 as of 2024.

Depending on the circumstances, applicants may be able to enter the UK on slightly lower salaries if:

  • The applicant’s occupation is listed on the Shortage Occupation List (20% reduction in salary requirements)
  • The applicant works as a doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, or one of the 24 public service occupations
  • The applicant has a PhD linked to the job they will be working in the UK (10-20% reduction in salary requirements)
  • The applicant is a ‘new entrant’ in the labour market (30% reduction in salary requirements)

If you wish to apply for a skilled worker visa, Synergy Immigration Solutions can help you with this, and we would love to get in touch to see what we can do.

The EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is the primary way for EU citizens who are living in the UK to stay here. However, we have noted that there has been a significant lack of awareness of this scheme to the public overall. 

Family Visas

While family visas have always been popular in the UK, they have gained more popularity over recent years as a means for people who have family links to the UK to move to the country. In recent years, applying as a dependent of people on other visas has been the most popular method for getting into the UK, with just over 150,000 applications granted in 2022.

In this area, you may also want to find out about the espousal visas, and all the new immigration rules for international students.

How Have Immigration Numbers Changed Since Brexit?

How Have Immigration Numbers Changed Since Brexit?

Although the plan was for Brexit to reduce net migration, the fact is, post-Brexit net immigration has shot up. Before Brexit, this number sat at about 200,000, while it went up to 745,000 in 2022. However, by the end of 2023, net migration did drop to 685,000.

Despite this drop from 2022-2023, it is clear that Brexit has resulted in an increase in net immigration. With half a million people leaving the UK and over a million coming into the UK in 2023, there is hope for anyone who wants to start a new life – whichever route you want to take.

The Importance of Immigration in the UK

Despite the government’s clamp-down on immigration and all the new rules put in place by Brexit, it’s important to remember just how crucial immigration is in the UK. Just a small way to showcase this is by looking at some statistics about immigrants working in the country, which we will put below.

Statistics from 2023 suggest that:

  • 35% of doctors in the NHS were not born in the UK
  • 27% of nurses in the NHS are immigrants
  • Around half of non-UK born nurses are from the Philippines
  • The majority (⅔) of non-UK born doctors are from Pakistan or India
  • Most non-UK born nurses are from Egypt, Ghana, or Nigeria

Synergy Immigration Solutions Can Help You

Synergy Immigration Solutions Can Help You

At Synergy Immigration Solutions, we want to assist you with all your immigration and visa needs. We handle services for individuals as well as businesses, and aim to give you all the information you need to help you stay informed.

On our site, we have blogs covering all the latest and most important news regarding immigration and visas, including the latest news on graduate visas and why they may be rejected, and who isn’t eligible for these visas. We also go over why Ireland doesn’t like the UK’s new immigration plans, and what you should know about the Rwanda bill.

If you need help with your visas or immigration, why not meet the team or contact us to find out more? You can also learn more about our register of licenced sponsors, learn about the new 2024 changes to work visas, and get some insight into the Home Office immigration database debacle.

With how Brexit changed immigration forever, we know that navigating this new landscape can be more confusing than ever before, and we are here to help.