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?

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. My friends live here. My boyfriend and his family live here. All the amazing people I’ve met over the last three years, too. Manchester has shaped who I am.

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 if 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!