Brexit: The Overseas Teachers Guide


The United Kingdom, especially London, still speaks to the imagination for many people. However, with the current political landscape, international teachers might be a bit hesitant about relocating to the UK. But how much of an issue is Brexit actually going to be if you want to relocate to the UK?

What is Brexit?

In short, Brexit stands for a British exit, the UK leaving the EU. This was voted for by the British public in a referendum in June 2016.

Since the UK has left the EU on the 31st of January 2020, we are currently in a transition period. This means that the UK has formally left the EU, but the guidelines for the relationship between the UK and the EU still need to be discussed further and agreed upon. They have until the 31st of December 2020 to do so, after that the transition period ends and the new rules will take effect. For now, the UK stays in the EU customs union and single market, meaning that most things will stay the same.

What about EU nationals living/wanting to live in the UK?

As it stands, to guarantee the safety of EU nationals living in the UK and planning on relocating to the UK, the Settled and Pre-Settled Scheme has been introduced.  The Settled and the Pre-Settled Scheme are part of the EU Settlement Scheme that ensures that EU citizens can continue living in the UK after the 30th of June 2021 (after this date you cannot apply for (Pre-)Settled Status anymore).

Settled (“Indefinite Leave to Remain”)

If you have been living continuously for 5 years or more in the UK you will be eligible for Settled Status. This will allow you to continue working and living in the UK after the 30th of June 2021, to travel back and forth between the EU and the UK and to benefit from (social) healthcare in the UK for as long as you want.

Pre-Settled Scheme (“Definite Leave to Remain”)

If you have been living continuously for less than 5 years in the UK you will be eligible for Pre-Settled Status. Once you have got that, you will be able to continue working and living in the UK, to travel back and forth between the EU and the UK and to benefit from (social) healthcare in the UK for the next five years. Once you have been living continuously for 5 years in the UK you will be able to “upgrade” your Pre-Settled Status to Settled Status, giving you the same rights as mentioned above.

If You Haven’t Moved to The UK Yet

The UK has left the EU with a Deal, which will be discussed further and finalised during the transition period. The Right to Remain and the Right to Work for EU citizens in the UK has been included in this deal and will form a key part of Britain’s future relationship with Europe. This should encourage European work-seekers to confidently apply for positions in the UK.

If you move to the UK before 31st December 2020, then you will have until the 30th of June 2021 to apply for Pre-Settled Status, allowing you to live and work in the UK.

In brief, yes, Brexit is complicated, but it doesn’t mean your chances to live and work in the UK have run out. Not at all.

** Disclaimer: information up to date on the 19th of February 2020. Any views expressed in this blog are those of the individual writer, except where the writer specifies them to be of Prospero Group Ltd. **

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