NJORD Latvia: Brexit consequences for the UK citizens. How Brexit will affect UK citizens working in the EU and in Latvia, in particular
According to the latest Brexit news, Brexit may be postponed until 12 April or 22 May. However, Brexit will eventually lead to consequences, inter alia, detrimental ones.
In relation to Brexit, the future of EU citizens employed in the UK has been discussed often. Nevertheless, as this process is mutual, corresponding problems will occur with respect to UK citizens employed in the EU.
Currently, UK citizens are entitled to free movement of workers, enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In other words, British citizens work in other EU Member States in the same way as other EU citizens – without a residence permit and work permit.
Finally, after Brexit (if no additional agreements are made), citizens of the UK may be likened to citizens of third countries and free movement of workers will not apply to them. It means that in order to reside and work in the other EU Member States they will need a residence permit and work permit.
Some countries have already commenced moving in this direction, for example, in Germany the authorities have opened a pre-register period for the UK citizens employed therein.
The procedure for acquiring a residence permit and work permit differs in each EU country. With respect to Latvia, a work permit may be of two types:
- EU Blue Card – residence permit with work permit for highly qualified workers.
A highly qualified worker is a foreigner who has acquired higher education in a study programme lasting at least three years, in the relevant speciality or who has corresponding professional experience of at least five years.
To process a residence permit and ordinary work permit in Latvia, it is necessary for the employer to announce the respective vacancy in the Employment Agency. If one month later the employer has not found an appropriate candidate from among local inhabitants, it may commence the procedure of employing a foreigner.
It is not necessary to make an announcement in the Employment Agency to process the EU Blue Card in Latvia. Documents on granting an EU Blue Card in Latvia may be examined within 10 or 5 working days, depending upon the applicant’s choice.
More detailed information on the possibilities of acquiring a residence permit in Latvia, inter alia, on other grounds, is available here.
NJORD Law Firm recommends its clients, including employers, who employ UK citizens, to prepare well in advance for the consequences of Brexit, in particular, to gather necessary documents, to certify them properly, and to translate them.
One should bear in mind that to acquire a work permit in some so called regulated professions, it is necessary to validate professional qualifications. These are professionals such as teachers, medical workers, specialists in transport and construction sectors, etc.
Another consequence of Brexit in Latvia will be a change in the procedure when documents from the UK are processed.
Currently, documents from all EU Member States have been accepted in Latvia without an Apostille. After Brexit, the same requirements may apply to the documents from the UK as from those from the third countries – namely, an Apostille will be required.
NJORD Law Firm provides a full range of services in migration issues – processing of residence permits, work permits, EU Blue Card, validating a qualification acquired abroad, etc.