Brexit and the Impact on US-UK Trade and US Immigration

What is Brexit?

All Brits know, but for non-Brits, this is a fusion of “Britain” and “Exit,” in reference to Britain leaving the European Union (EU). On 23rd June, 2016, Britain will vote on whether they will remain within the EU, or leave. A simple majority will decide Britain's fate.

Why Some Brits Want to Leave the EU?

There are numerous arguments for and against, but the Brexit campaigners focus on the sovereignty of Britain and costly bureaucracy of remaining in the EU.

What is the Impact on US Trade with the UK and the US Immigration Field?

I am sure a lot of people are aware that President Obama has made his feelings clear. On his recent visit to the UK, he expressed his opinion quite explicitly. That he (and America) feels that Britain should remain in the EU. He has threatened trade consequences for a Brexit result, stating Britain would be at the “back of the queue” when drawing up potential post-Brexit trade deals with the US. As it currently stands, the tariffs on UK businesses exporting to the US are relatively low and the US is the UK's largest export destination.

Clearly one can't really know whether there will be any significant changes to US immigration. If it is difficult, however, for a UK business to export goods and services where they have a large US client base, they may seek to either invest and move their business to the US, or open a new US office.

Other foreign nationals who were contemplating an investment in the UK may look to invest elsewhere, such as the US. This is particularly the case for wealthy foreign nationals who wish to invest a large amount of capital. Perhaps they will be deterred by Brexit and shift their focus on investment in another strong economy, such as the US.

What are the Potential US Immigration Consequences for Voting In?

There are evidently a number of Brits that do not want to remain in the EU. This may lead to individuals emigrating to another country, such as the US. It is not unreasonable to assume that some of these Brits will look at investing in the US, studying, or look for jobs there. This is particularly the case for individuals with investment capital or “extraordinary abilities.”

Obviously this is all speculative, but it will be interesting to see what happens at the end of next month. Our firm specialises in US business immigration, to include:

  • E-2 Treaty Investment Visas
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  • EB-5 Investment Green Card
  • L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visas
  • H-1B Specialty Occupation Visas
  • O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visas
  • J-1 Internship Visas for Recent Graduates

If you have any questions regarding US visas, please do not hesitate to visit our website: You may also contact us on: +44 (0)203 102 7966