What are your plans for after university, Nele? I get asked this question a lot. Especially now I’m back in my hometown for the summer and everybody knows I’m only one year away from graduating university. Do I want to get a job straight away? Get a master degree? Move back to the Netherlands? What are my plans?

And every time someone asks me these questions I have a very simple answer; I not quite sure yet. I graduate in 2018, but Brexit is planned to happen in March 2019. Obviously we don’t know much about what will happen to the EU nationals that live in the UK. What I do know is that I won’t have lived in the UK for 5 years yet – which is the minimum required to get a residency card.

I’m not saying that I’m sure I will have to leave – or get an expensive visa which will put my position in the job market even further back – but I am worried about the outcome of Brexit. In the last three years I’ve build up a new life in Manchester. Of course I worry Brexit will have a negative impact on that. Apart from all the friends I’ve made, my boyfriend who is English, the people I’ve met at jobs I’ve had and my university course, I love living in England.

I’m still hopeful that something will be sorted out for those who don’t have a permanent residency yet, and likewise for the UK residents who are living in the EU. The uncertainties are just very frustrating. I’m worried that if I start a master degree (2 years) I will have issues finishing it. I’m worried that I start a job, I will face other difficulties. I know there’s not much I can say about it just yet, but I wish I had some more information or reassurance about the whole situation.

Some answers to your questions

Why I don’t have a residency card yet? – You have to have lived in England for at least five years before you can apply for a residency card. Six before you can apply for full citizenship. At the moment I’ve only lived in England for three, by the time Brexit will officially happen it will be four and a half.

Why can’t you get a double nationality? – The Netherlands is currently not giving out double nationalities. This meaning that if I am to apply for a British nationality, I will lose my Dutch one. I do not want to give up my Dutch nationality for an English one. Being Dutch is part of me and after having lived in England for only three years I can’t decide whether I want to settle there for the rest of my life.

For now I’d like to try and stay positive about it until there’s more information about Brexit and its consciences. I still have one year left at university and that is my main focus at the moment! Hopefully migration issues relating to Brexit will become more clear in the next few months so I can start planning a life for after university. But until then, I’m going to try and stay positive!

What are your opinions about Brexit? Let me know in the comments!

8 comments on “Brexit and its impact on my future”

  1. Dat zijn allemaal zo’n dingen waarvan ik zeg, waar haal je het toch. Het feit dat jij als Nederlandse niet kan kiezen om Nederlandse te blijven, maar je verplicht word om Brits te worden. We leven in een vrij land, denk je dan.. Ook de export en import.. wat gebeurt daar nu mee sinds de Brexit? Waar zijn ze toch aan begonnen, denk ik dan.

    • Helemaal mee eens… Ik heb altijd gedacht “als het erop aan komt kan ik altijd nog een dubbele nationaliteit aanvragen!”, maar toen wist ik nog niet dat de Nederlandse regering daar zo moeilijk over heeft… Ik wil echt niet de kans lopen om mijn Nederlandse nationaliteit kwijt te raken, dus hopelijk komt er toch iets goeds uit de Brexit onderhandelingen, want anders moet ik toch eens gaan nadenken over hoe ik de toekomst ga inplannen…

  2. I have the same problem than you. I will be graduated in 2018. I also heard that they don’t count your student years when you apply for residency card. I think the only thing we can do is wait and see. Every time someone ask me if I want to stay in England after my PhD I say I have no idea it will depend what the governments decide for us.

    • I’ve heard the same thing but I’m not sure if that’s true or not 🙁 Anyways, even if they do count I won’t be here long enough to apply for a residency card. It’s ridiculous how they gamble with our lives, in my opinion… Hopefully there will be some answers to our questions soon, I just hope we won’t have to wait too long 🙁

  3. Pfoei wat verschrikkelijk allemaal! Dat je door zo’n vervelend iets misschien niet de Master kunt gaan doen die je wilt doen.. Hopelijk komt er snel opheldering die positief uitvalt!

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