The changing landscape of our relationship with the EU and the end to freedom of movement is now a reality, and with it comes serious implications for games studios who are looking to hire non-native talent from any of the remaining EU member states. Aardvark Swift spoke to Laurence Keir-Thomas, senior associate solicitor at Fragomen LLP, to discuss the concerns and costs of the new rules and regulations.
“I’ve been practising immigration law for nearly 12 years now, having previously worked with asylum claimants. For the last five years, I’ve specialised in business immigration. My particular specialism is within the games industry, making sure that UK studios and publishers understand what is required to allow people to live and work in the British Isles,” says Laurence. Fragomen LLP are a global immigration law firm, with offices all over the world. The need for their UK services has seen a noticeable spike since the end of 2020, when we officially left the European Union. “Before Brexit, hiring talent was much more straightforward. Before the 1st of January 2021, EU nationals enjoyed the right of free movement. This meant studios could hire in exactly the same way as if they were a UK citizen.”
Those entering the UK (from the EU) for the first time will now find that they require a relevant visa to live or work. There are some positives for those already residing within the UK. “EU, EEA (European Economic Area), and Swiss citizens can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme until June 30th. The scheme is part of the transitional agreement and has been put in place to protect those EU nationals (and their family members) who were in the UK prior to 31st December 2020.”