The UK could leave the EU in 6 weeks, or there may be another delay like the one we saw in April. Brexit watchers have likened the UK to a cat that can’t decide if it wants to be in or out and just sits in the doorway. This has an impact on EU citizens living in the UK who are waiting to see exactly what their status will be post-Brexit. The UK has announced a set of policies that will apply starting on October 31, but much still depends on whether the UK and EU reach a deal. A lot is still up in the air.

Unfortunately, EU immigrants in the UK are not alone in struggling with uncertainty. Immigration systems around the world can be unpredictable.

Here are a few more examples:

  • Mexico – Administration Changes: Since the beginning of the Obrador administration in December 2018, Mexico has seen a large turnover in the leadership of its central immigration authority, the INM or “Instituto Nacional de Migración,” resulting in work permit processing delays throughout the country.
  • Canada – Upcoming Election: The next Canadian general election is scheduled for October 21 and immigration is expected to be a pivotal issue. The incumbent Trudeau-led Liberal Party is likely to retain control of Parliament, but the Conservative party may win a surprise victory. The two parties have similar approaches toward employment-based immigration, but a change in power could affect immigration priorities.
  • Ireland – Beautiful Weather: Immigration processes generally slow in Europe during the summer, especially in July and August, but two summers ago, Irish work permit processing times increased more than expected. Turns out that Ireland had a period of beautiful weather about the same time it hired a large number of new agents to assist with processing applications. Between agents taking time off to enjoy the sun and reallocation of resources to train new officers, processing times nearly doubled.

In immigration, there are never any guarantees. Policies change over time and processing times fluctuate. Rather than wait for a new normal that may never arrive, we move forward – evaluating risks, adjusting strategies, and making backup plans. While we cannot predict the unpredictable, we can carry on. So, keep calm … and consult competent immigration counsel.