Can you still live and work abroad after Brexit?

There is a vast number of British citizens currently residing or working in other countries around Europe. Within the European Union, relocating for a new job has been a very simple and streamlined process. This has led to thousands of British citizens having moved to countries like Spain, Germany, France, Malta and Portugal to build their new life. But with the dawn of Brexit, the path to your dream job is not quite as clear as it used to. That’s not to say it is impossible, it just requires a bit more preparation and planning. Let’s have a look at the new requirements introduced into the Brexit era.

Our government has made an agreement with the countries around Europe that allow for free movement. At the present moment of writing this article, these are 31 countries in total and each agreement consists of three different parts. They ensure that British citizens who are living or working abroad are protected until the Brexit transition period is over.

The first part of the agreement is called the “Withdrawal Agreement”. It guarantees that all British citizens residing in any of the EU member states will maintain the same rights that they hold today. In practice, this means that they can work, travel and live in their European resident country unless they leave said country for more than five years. The preliminary end date for the transition period is December 31st, 2020. Until then, freedom of movement is granted to all UK citizens.

The second and third part of the agreement only applies to UK citizens living or working in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Iceland. Since these countries are not part of the EU, special conditions apply but are mostly similar to the Withdrawal Agreement that applies to the EU countries.

As a British citizen currently living in the EU or if you move to a EU country before the end of the transition period, you will be required to contact local immigration authorities and apply for residence status. The local immigration authorities will give you until June 30th, 2021 to apply for your residence status, but keep in mind that each country may have a different set of conditions.

For UK citizens looking to make a living within the EU, there are a few countries that are welcoming us with open arms. For example, the  ever expanding casino online industries in Malta and Spain have for many years been a hotspot for UK citizens looking to make a living abroad. It is expected that both countries will be lenient towards British residence status applications because we make up such a significant part of the gambling industry’s workforce, particularly in Malta.

If you are currently living in a EU country, we advise you to contact your local immigration authorities immediately to ensure that you do not miss the application window. If you are living in the UK and want to work in a EU country, we recommend looking into the industries that rely heavily on UK citizens, such as the casino industry, financial services and telemarketing. There is no guarantee that a EU country will approve your application for residence status, but it is a good idea to turn your attention to the countries with more lenient policies towards the UK.