Immigration status of
EU academics post-Brexit

Since the referendum result to leave the European Union was announced last June, there has been much speculation as to the future of higher education in the UK.

Today, the British Academy published a report called “Brexit means…? The British Academy’s Priorities for the Humanities and Social Sciences in the Current Negotiations”. The report explores Brexit’s impact on the humanities and social sciences and calls for certainty surrounding the immigration status of EU academics post-Brexit.

The UK is renowned for its universities and is the second most popular destination in the world for international students. In total, almost 40,000 non-UK EU staff work in UK universities meaning that EU nationals make up the greatest share of staff from outside the UK.

The Academy argues that the UK’s position as a world leader in research depends on its ability to attract the best international talent. It is therefore calling on the government to guarantee the right to remain and a continuation of the current rights of EU staff and their dependents working in the UK.

Foreign Secretary of the British Academy, Professor Ash Amin said “Many of the people from this talent pool will be asking themselves: do I see the future of my career in this country?” He concludes “It is critical that the government takes action and puts an end to this uncertainty. Today’s report depicts precisely what is at stake: the UK’s position as a world leader in higher education and research.”

Whilst the UK’s Prime Minister has repeatedly assured those EU citizens currently living in the UK that the government and EU are in “touching distance” of an agreement on citizens’ rights, both businesses and academic institutions anxiously await news on their ability to secure talent from across Europe following Brexit. Since key details of the UK’s new post-Brexit immigration policy is unlikely to emerge until next autumn, just months before Britain leaves the EU, this apprehension is set to persist for the foreseeable future.

Smith Stone Walters offers clients the chance to prepare their organisations for the effects of Brexit with this comprehensive service. Contact us for friendly and up-to-date immigration advice on your options – we specialise in UK immigration and can help you identify the best plan of action for your business.

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