Obtaining citizenship of another EU member state may be a very attractive option for those looking at long term security for continued free movement within the EU. Most EU countries allow citizenship applications after 8-10 years of continuous residence in the EU country of application, providing applicants can prove ‘good citizenship’ and a ‘sufficient’ degree of integration into local society.
Note, however, that, while most EU countries allow dual citizenship, some do not. Of note, is Spain, where most nationalities are required to renounce their previous nationality upon being granted Spanish citizenship.
Implications for non-EU nationals in the UK and right to work elsewhere in the EU
Under the Van der Elst scheme, participating EU countries allow non-EU nationals already in possession of a UK residence the right to work in another participating member state on a temporary basis without the need to apply for a full work permit.
Global employers in a number of industries are currently able to mobilise employees between participating countries for short term assignments without the employee having to undergo a full work permit application process, meaning global employers can take advantage of a much expedited process to mobilise staff at much shorter notice.
The demand for global mobilisation of employees is not likely to decrease in the coming years and, as such, employers are advised to adopt a proactive, long-term approach to staff mobility, taking into account the likelihood of lengthier immigration timescales for sending staff on overseas assignment, in order to minimise any potential impact on both the business and assignees.
We advise all companies to identify and make a list of all employees currently working in the EU – both UK nationals and non-EEA nationals under the Van der Elst category – and to undertake an audit of right to work documentation in order to identify any cases where immediate action may be required. Newland Chase will be able to provide specific case-by-case advice as required.