Brexit and the Future of UK Immigration


Days after another shock election result in the United Kingdom, CFGI 2017 Symposium attendees were eager to hear from George Koureas and Axel Boysen of Fragomen Worldwide on the election’s impact. During their presentation titled “The UK and EU: A Proactive Approach to Brexit and Immigration Changes,” Koureas and Boysen discussed the state of immigration in Europe and the UK and offered recommendations on how HR professionals can navigate the uncertainty.

The presentation shed light on immigration policy changes in the UK, which predate the Brexit vote and aim to reduce immigration and emphasize enforcement. They highlighted many of the challenges that businesses now face because of stricter immigration policies, including

Line managers who are unaware of their immigration compliance responsibilities;

The possibility that Tier 2 employees have changed job titles or office locations and UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has not been notified; and,

Failure to notify the UKVI when Tier 2 employees are no longer sponsored.

Koureas and Boysen made several recommendations to address these challenges and navigate a new immigration landscape, particularly the importance of involving local Human Resource professionals.

“This may sound simple, but the solution is to involve HR,” said Koureas. “It’s important to have a set of written policies and make sure that they are communicated clearly. You need to have someone who is responsible for immigration and understands the process.”

Despite the uncertainty because of the June 8th election and Brexit, the presenters noted that there hasn’t been any large-scale immediate policy change because of the Brexit vote. The UK will remain a member of the EU until exit negotiations conclude and free movement between the UK and the European Economic Area will remain unaffected for the time being.

CFGI is advancing fair, innovative and competitive immigration policies around the world. Learn more about our global advocacy here.

Spencer Manners is an External Affairs and Membership Intern at SHRM. He previously held internships at Major League Baseball Advanced Media as well as the Ram Council Foundation. As a current Political Communication Major at The George Washington University he hopes to pursue a career at the crossroads of policy and communication.




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