Wednesday, March 09, 2016

UK BREXIT Deal Could Slam Door on EEA Non-EU Partner Loophole

The United Kingdom is facing one of the most important decisions in decades, as voters decide whether to stay ‘in or out’ of the European Union in an EU referendum this June.

UK Prime Minister wants us to remain in the EU, but the so-called reform package has not convinced many senior Conservatives, such as London Mayor Boris Johnson, that a British EU exit or BREXIT is not in the country’s best interests.

In a bid to reassure the public that remaining inside a reformed EU, David Cameron recently announced a series of concessions from EU Ministers following intense negotiations including  reduced Child Benefit for EU nationals sending money home to their absent children, protection for the pound outside the Euro currency and no further part in EU expansion. However, the deal falls short of promised reforms and, crucially, the all important ‘free movement’ rights remains non-negotiable.

In his speech, Mr Cameron also mentioned an important proposed change to the “unfair advantage” EEA nationals have over British citizens when bringing their non-EU dependants into the UK.

The proposed removal of this free movement right has not been reported in the mainstream press, despite the fact that it could be one of the most important reforms Mr Cameron has squeezed out of the tight fisted European bureaucrats.

The loophole allows EEA nationals to override UK Immigration Rules when entering the UK with their non-EU family members based on landmark ECHR human rights judgements.

If implement by the EU, the change Treaty Regulations will mean that EEA nationals will be subject to the same restrictions as UK citizens, including the Minimum Income Requirement (MIR). But in order to achieve this, the 2006 European Regulations will have to be changed, with the agreement of member states.

The Supreme Court is considering legal challenges to Home Office Immigration Rules that require a UK sponsor to have a minimum gross annual income of £18,600 before they can apply for partners from non-EEA (European Economic Area) states to join them.

The immigration appeal cases have gone all the way through appeals to the highest court in the land and include judicial review applications brought by two British citizens (as well as a challenge to the tough Appendix FM rules), referred to as AM and SJ, who cannot meet the minimum income requirement and MM, a refugee from the Lebanon in a similar position, and his nephew AF.

Until the rules are amended by Europe, EU citizen marrying a non-EU citizen will find it far easier to come and live in the UK with their partner than a British citizen.

Using the same EEA rules, they can bring extended family dependants into the UK, a right that UK citizens do not enjoy.

Bizarrely, a British citizen must go and live in an EEA member state before they can be treated as EEA nationals with the same free movement rights.

Meanwhile, NHS hospitals in the UK and Irish hospitals are recruiting nurses from the EU and countries like the Philippines in a desperate bid to fill UK nursing vacancies. The NHS is creaking at the seams with staff shortages and an unhappy workforce. Juniors Doctors even went on strike recently over changes to their pay package.

Tier 2 Work Permits and full working visas are available for non-EU trained Filipino Nurses living in the UK or overseas. Hospitals and Nursing Homes are paying generous salaries and allowances to Nurses, as they desperately need staff.

In order to work as a nurse in the UK, you must achieve a minimum IELTS score of 7.00 in all bands and pass the NMC Part 1 online test. Whilst this is proving difficult for some candidates, the system is actually more straightforward than the old 0NP adaptation programme it replaced. My tip is to prepare for the test like you would for any other exam. Read IELTS study guides or attend classes, as this is not an easy English test.

Southern and Northern Ireland also needs more nurses, so now is the time to apply and take that IELTS test!

This is a window of opportunity for nurses who want to work in the UK or Ireland - and it will not stay open for long.

If you are an overseas nurse or a European care worker (EU citizens only) and would like to work in the UK, email your CV.
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