The following alert is directed to organizations with a presence in the UK or who anticipate the need to place talent at a UK work site.

Seyfarth Shaw’s Global Mobility Practice hosts attorneys licensed to practice in the UK, Canada, Ireland and Germany. The group has the capability to assist clients with obtaining work and residence visas for over 70 jurisdictions around the world. If we can assist you in placing talent, please call your Seyfarth attorney. We will be happy to help you.

Seyfarth Synopsis: On March 29, 2017, British Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50, initiating the formal two-year negotiation process for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

What Will Happen Next?

Britain’s European Union (EU) Ambassador today informed the EU Council President that the U.K. government will give formal notice on March 29, 2017 of the U.K.’s intention to leave the EU. This will start the withdrawal process, which will take a minimum of two years. If the complex negotiations and legal procedures conclude within that timeframe, the U.K.’s exit from the EU could be completed by March 2019.

Once the U.K. has given formal notice to withdraw, the remaining 27 EU member states must then align their negotiating position, which is likely to take several weeks. Immigration was a central issue in the run up to the referendum and the desire to curb the free movement of EU nationals into the U.K. was one of the primary drivers of the "leave" campaign. Immigration will continue to play a central role in the negotiation process. Although the government has stated its aim to protect the future status of EU nationals and their family members who currently reside in the U.K., the position remains uncertain and will be decided during the negotiation process.

How Will This Affect EU Nationals in the UK?

As stated in our previous alert, the rights of EU nationals and their family members to reside and work in the U.K. will remain unchanged during the transition process. However, the future status of this group of EU citizens has not yet been guaranteed. Therefore, we recommend that all EU nationals currently living in the U.K. apply for a residence card to confirm their status. Given the likely increase in applications once the Brexit process has formally begun, and potential delays in processing times, applicants should file their applications as soon as possible.

The Prime Minister will address Parliament regarding the Brexit withdrawal process on March 29, 2017. We will update clients as further details are announced