Challenges faced by expats in UK after BREXIT

Brexit impacted the life of all UK residents, including expats. This article discusses the challenges encountered by expats in the UK after Brexit. It highlights the uncertainties in immigration policies, changes in visa requirements, financial implications such as currency devaluation and access to financial services, and concerns about the job market. Staying informed and adapting to these changes can help expats living in the UK post-Brexit.

Maayan & Gal Founders of Smoozitive

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Smoozitive Magazine/Law & Order/Challenges faced by expats in UK after BREXIT

Moving to a new country can be an exciting and life-changing experience. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges. In 2020, the UK formally completed its separation from the EU. It created multiple challenges for Brits obviously, and expats as well . In this article, we will explore the challenges faced by expats in the UK after BREXIT, and how they can navigate through them.

What does BREXIT even mean?​

Brexit refers to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU). The term is a combination of "Britain" and "exit." The UK held a referendum in June 2016, where the majority of voters chose to leave the EU. This decision started a series of talks and steps that ended when the UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2020.

The main reasons for Brexit included concerns about sovereignty, immigration, and trade policies. Brexit has had a big effect on the UK and its relationship with the EU.

UK flags in streets Photo by A Perry on Unsplash

The Impact of Brexit on Expats in the UK​

Brexit has brought some significant changes for expats living in the UK. Expats have faced many challenges after Brexit, like not knowing what will happen with immigration rules and the pound losing value.

Uncertainty and Changes in Immigration Policies​

One of the biggest challenges faced by expats in the UK after Brexit is the uncertainty surrounding their immigration status, and their visa requirements. With the UK leaving the European Union, there have been changes in immigration policies. This can affect the rights and privileges of expats.

Expats who were already living in the UK before Brexit faced a unique set of challenges and uncertainties. The transition period following the Brexit decision allowed these expats to maintain their rights and privileges until the end of 2020. However, after the transition period, they had to adhere to new regulations and requirements to secure their status in the UK.

For them, it was crucial to understand the implications of Brexit on their residency status, healthcare access, and employment rights. Many expats had to apply for settled status or pre-settled status to continue living and working in the UK legally.

Information about visas for EU citizens and non-EU residents in the UK.​

Since Brexit, there have been significant changes in visa requirements for both EU citizens and non-EU residents in the UK.

For EU citizens: As of now, EU citizens who wish to move to the UK for work, study, or to join family members need to apply for a visa under the new points-based immigration system. The specific visa required will depend on the purpose of their stay, such as the Skilled Worker visa for those with a job offer from a UK employer, the Student visa for those studying at a UK institution, or the Family visa for joining relatives in the UK. EU citizens are no longer able to freely travel and work in the UK without a visa, as they could before Brexit.

For non-EU residents: Non-EU residents have also been impacted by the changes in visa requirements post-Brexit. They need to apply for the relevant visa based on their circumstances, such as the Tier 2 (General) visa for skilled workers with a job offer, the Tier 4 visa for students, or the Family visa for joining family members in the UK. The visa application process involves meeting specific criteria, including English language proficiency, financial requirements, and sponsorship from a UK-based entity.

These changes in visa requirements aim to regulate immigration and ensure that individuals coming to the UK meet certain criteria to live, work, or study in the country legally. It's essential for both EU citizens and non-EU residents to understand and comply with the current visa requirements to avoid any legal issues or challenges during their stay in the UK.

For more information, check the official UK Government website.

Financial Implications

Brexit, the controversial decision for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, has not only had political and social repercussions but also significant financial implications for expatriates residing in the UK. As a result of the value of the British pound plummeting in the aftermath of Brexit, expats may experience a decrease in the worth of their savings and investments that are denominated in pounds. This depreciation in the currency can lead to financial distress for expats who were counting on their investments to maintain or even increase in value over time. Consequently, expats may find themselves in a precarious financial situation as they navigate the uncertainties brought about by Brexit.

The impact of Brexit on expats' finances extends beyond the devaluation of the British pound. Due to the economic uncertainties surrounding the UK's departure from the EU, expats may also face challenges in terms of access to financial services and products. Banks and financial institutions may impose stricter regulations or higher fees for expats, making it more difficult for them to manage their finances effectively.

Additionally, after Brexit, the uncertain financial markets might stop expats from investing or making long-term financial plans, making their money worries worse.

In addition, the changing regulatory landscape in the UK post-Brexit may also have implications for the tax treatment of expats' financial assets. This adds another layer of complexity to their financial planning.

The financial implications of Brexit for expats in the UK are not limited to their savings and investments. Expats may also experience changes in their cost of living as a result of the economic fallout from Brexit. Inflation rates in the UK may rise, leading to higher prices for goods and services, which can erode expats' purchasing power and reduce their overall standard of living. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations and the potential for a no-deal outcome may also contribute to fluctuations in the cost of essential expenses such as housing, healthcare, and utilities, placing additional strain on expats' finances.

Expat life in the UK is impacted by Brexit, for sure. People living in the UK might have to rethink their financial plans, make some adjustments, and get help to protect their finances during uncertain times.

Moreover, there have been concerns about the impact of Brexit on the job market in the UK, which can affect the employment opportunities for the expat community in the UK.


Living in the UK after Brexit can be challenging , especially for expats. The changes of visa regulations and the impact on the financial markets, add an additional layer to expat challenges.

Despite the challenges faced by expats in the UK post-Brexit, adapting to these changes can lead to personal growth, new opportunities, and a deeper sense of resilience.

Maayan & Gal
Founders of Smoozitive

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