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Emigrating after Brexit Top Tips

Thinking of emigrating after Brexit? You’re not alone – since the Brexit referendum result, there has been a significant rise in emigration inquiries from the UK. Whether you’re looking for a better lifestyle, job opportunities, or are moving for retirement, emigrating is an exciting adventure. 

If you’re considering post-Brexit emigration, we’re here to help. The process of moving abroad can be challenging and it’s always best to plan ahead. In this article, we’ve provided our top tips on emigrating post-Brexit to help you with the process of moving abroad. Let’s get started.

european flag outside downing street

Popular Post-Brexit Emigration Destinations

After the concern caused by Brexit, many people around the world are determined to move abroad for a better life. There are around 5 million Brits living abroad. This leaves the question, where exactly is the best place to move to after Brexit? 

  • Australia

Australia is a very popular emigration destination with Brits; it’s estimated that there are around 1.2 million British expats living in Australia. Living in Australia, you will enjoy a fantastic climate year-round and an outdoorsy lifestyle with some of the world’s best beaches. They also have a fantastic education system, with numerous reputable universities.

  • New Zealand

New Zealand is another fantastic country to move to if you love the outdoors. When it comes to beautiful scenery, in New Zealand, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Stunning sandy beaches, native forests, mountains, lakes, and fjords are plentiful in this country. You’ll also have access to affordable, quality education and healthcare.

  • Portugal

There were a total of 46,238 Brits living in Portugal in 2020. And with its sunny weather and reasonable house prices, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. In Portugal, you can enjoy beautiful weather and beaches year-round. There’s also a large community of retired expats in Portugal which makes it an ideal place for retired Brits looking to relocate. 

  • Japan

Japan is also a popular destination for UK expats with over 20,000 Brits living there. Living in Japan, you’ll be treated to their incredible food, beautiful landscapes, and exciting urban city areas. It’s also one of the safest countries to live in, with a very low crime rate, making it popular with expats of all ages and genders. Some popular Japanese cities to relocate to include Tokyo and Osaka. 

image of people walking across street

How many people are emigrating post Brexit? 

Paul Arthur, director of UK-based The Emigration Group says “we saw a six-fold increase in enquiries on the Friday of the referendum and a three-fold increase over that first weekend, as people reacted to the shock announcement and struggled to understand what was happening.”

But there has been no let-up in interest in emigrating abroad after Brexit, says Grahame Igglesden, from UK-based Australian migration consultancy, Concept Australia. Mr. Igglesden said “serious applicants wanting to live in Australia have been undeterred by Brexit. The leave vote showed a level of dissatisfaction in the UK about their processes and in Europe. This is often a driving factor for emigrating further afield.”

Why are British citizens emigrating post Brexit?

The reasons why Britons consider moving to another country include:

  • Obtaining a better standard of living
  • Employment opportunities
  • Family reasons
  • Lifestyle benefits

Paul Arthur says, “Clients want to live in a country with economic stability, job security and opportunities for the future, particularly for their children.”

Grahame Igglesden adds, “for families, education is another important factor – many schools in the UK are overcrowded or families can’t get their children into their chosen schools.

There is also the appeal of the outdoor-based lifestyle in Australia and how this could transform their family’s quality of life.”

plane in the sky emigrating to europe

Emigrating after Brexit top tips

For British nationals who want to emigrate from the UK, our emigration experts have provided eight top tips for emigrating after.

1. Research where to move abroad post Brexit

Find the skills shortages in the country you want to move to and seek opportunities that fit with your own skills and experience. Get to know about the migration and visa processes, what they entail, and understand the legal aspects of living and working in another country. Bear in mind that information online can be incomplete, outdated or incorrect.

2. Emigrating to Australia or New Zealand post Brexit?

If you’re planning to move to Australia to work, even if you are not sure what position you want to apply for yet, it is worth applying for a skilled migrant visa. This gives you time and provides different working options for the future. Once your visa is approved, you are protected from any future policy changes.

Consider applying to New Zealand as a skilled migrant. There is high demand for skillsets, and there are specific skills shortages in the country that need to be filled. However, the system in New Zealand is different and you cannot apply for your visa unless you already have a job.

Be mindful of the differences between states in Australia. Each one has a very different economy and is seeking very different skillsets from their working migrants. Some are faring better than others, such as New South Wales, which is winning awards and regularly voted as one of the most popular states in which to live.

3 Main motivation for moving to Australia

A sense of uncertainty dogged the UK before the Brexit vote. The country had only just narrowly avoided a recession and the referendum brought further confusion about what Brexit might mean in practical terms. Mr Igglesden says this sense of uncertainty, coupled with the rising cost of living in the UK, is the main motivator for people from the UK looking to move to Australia.

In response to Brexit, Australia and New Zealand have increased their marketing to attract skilled migrants. Mr Arthur believes this will help drive further interest in the countries. “We predict that there will be more people moving overseas, looking to countries where there are no language barriers and some cultural similarities, such as Australia and New Zealand.”

Historically, there has been more interest in Australia and it remains the frontrunner. The most common route for emigration from the UK is through the General Skilled Migration Program.

The Emigration Group says, “This program emphasises skills that are currently in demand within Australia and encourages potential immigrants who possess these to apply. There are several types of skilled visa, all are points based with a minimum pass mark.”

Concept Australia adds, “The processing timetable can be influenced by a number of factors such as the nominated occupation, sitting an English language test, applying for state or territory nomination or your points score. Generally, the overall timetable is between 6-12 months and in our experience, the length of time is determined by the quality of documents presented throughout the entire process.” 

4. Find professional advice for your emigration process post Brexit

Pick someone who really knows and understands how the emigration process, which can be long and complex. A specialist can undertake a comprehensive eligibility assessment initially, followed by a one-to-one consultation to go through the options available. They can help you throughout the whole emigration process, from finding roles, to visa applications, to settling into your new life overseas.

Emigrating after Brexit? Start early and plan your move

Emigrating is a life-changing decision for you and your family, so undertake detailed planning. Gain a good understanding of your country of choice and what it’s like to live and work there. Plan a budget at the outset and factor in all the different costs associated with your emigration, including visa fees, agents’ fees, removal and property costs, the cost of buying a vehicle there, and currency exchange.

If you are serious about emigrating abroad, begin the process as soon as possible. For countries such as Australia, interest in emigrating is expected to rise. Specialisations are changing all the time when it comes to Australian visas. Independent skilled visas usually need an employer or government sponsorship, although there are options to get them if you fit the right criteria. This is why planning ahead is crucial.