Confused about peoples right to work status if the UK votes to leave the EU? KPMG's flowchart can help.

KPMG Flowchart shows people's right to work status

With the EU referendum vote less than ten weeks away, many EU nationals working in the UK are asking their employers what the implications for them might be if the UK votes to leave the EU.


Partner and Brexit People & Immigration Lead

KPMG in the UK


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With the EU referendum vote less than ten weeks away, many EU nationals working in the UK are asking their employers what the implications for them might be if the UK votes to leave the EU, according to the Employment and Immigration team at KPMG in the UK.  And to help show what the potential impact of a ‘Brexit’ might be on people’s right to work in the UK should that be the outcome of the 23 June referendum, KPMG has prepared a flowchart* based on current immigration rules.  

Punam Birly, Head of Legal Services - Employment and Immigration at KPMG in the UK, said: 

“If the UK votes to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016, non-UK EU residents and business visitors from the EU, the European Economic Area or Switzerland are likely to be affected. We’ve had a number of questions about how this might impact different types of EU nationals working in the UK and have developed a flowchart to help people assess the potential impact. 

“The rules are complicated and may well change depending on exactly what is negotiated in terms of Britain’s exit from the EU if the vote is to ‘Leave’. KPMG has developed a flowchart to show how different types of people might be affected based on the assumption that current immigration rules remain in place for the two year period of negotiations that would follow if the vote was to leave. 

“How long someone’s been here makes a difference – more than five years and there may be an option to apply for a card certifying permanent residence which proves a right to live in the UK indefinitely. Those with more than six years may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship. 

“Those with less than five years - be they business travellers, students, self-employed people or entrepreneurs - may need visas or another form of authorisation to remain in the UK. 

“And that’s all based on the assumption that the current rules remain in place.  That’s not guaranteed by any means so anyone who thinks they will be affected should make sure they obtain advice on their specific situation.” 

KPMG’s flowchart* can be accessed here.

*It is important to understand that the flowchart assumes that the current immigration rules would remain in force over the two-year period following the UK’s formal notice to leave the EU (in the event that this is the outcome of the referendum) during which time there would be negotiations to determine the details surrounding the exit.  However, this is not guaranteed. 


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For further information please contact:

KPMG Press office

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Margot Cowhig, KPMG Corporate Communications

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About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a revenue of £1.96 billion in the year ended September 2015. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 174,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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