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Welcome to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Frequently asked questions on the impact of the EU Referendum

I am a non-British EU/EEA citizen working as a veterinary surgeon in the UK and am worried about the fact that in the future I may no longer be eligible to work in the country. What reassurances can the RCVS give me at this stage?

We recognise, and sympathise with, the anxiety and stress that the result of the EU Referendum may be causing for non-British EU citizens currently working in the UK and recognise the huge contribution made by European vets in the UK.

At this time of uncertainty it is difficult for us to say what the long-term impact of the result of the Referendum will mean for veterinary surgeons who are non-British EU citizens and working in the UK. Non-British EU citizens who are Members of the RCVS will be able to retain the status when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

However, although being on the Register is a prerequisite to working as a veterinary surgeon in the UK, registration does not give the individual an automatic right to work in the UK and this may be dependent on post-Brexit arrangements regarding right to work for non-UK citizens.  

Currently, the situation is business as usual and this is expected to be the case for some time. If the Government enacts Article 50 – which formalises the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the EU – there will be a negotiation period that is expected to take a minimum of two years, with the possibility of negotiations being extended further.  
We will be regularly updating the profession as the situation regarding Britain’s relationship with the European Union develops.

I am a non-British EU/EEA national with a UK veterinary degree but am not currently working in the UK. Will it be difficult for me if I wish to work in the UK in the future?

At this time of uncertainty it is difficult for us to say what the long-term impact of the result of the Referendum will mean for veterinary surgeons who are non-British EU citizens but qualified in the UK.

You have a recognised qualification so you should still be able to Register with the RCVS. However, while being on the Register is a prerequisite to working as a veterinary surgeon in the UK, registration does not give the individual an automatic right to work in the UK and this may be dependent on post-Brexit arrangements regarding right to work for non-UK citizens.  

Currently, the situation is business as usual and this is expected to be the case for some time. If the Government enacts Article 50 – which formalises the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the EU – there will be a negotiation period that is expected to take a minimum of two years, with the possibility of negotiations being extended further.  
We will be regularly updating the profession as the situation regarding Britain’s relationship with the European Union develops.

I am a UK citizen who is currently studying for a veterinary degree in the EU. Will the Referendum outcome mean I can no longer become an MRCVS upon graduation?

At this time of uncertainty it is difficult to say what the impact of the EU Referendum will be on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) Directive that allows European vets to practise in the UK and vice-versa, and it may be some time before we do know.

However, we will be working with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to minimise any disruption from the transition process.

It is also important to remember that, ultimately, anyone who has studied a veterinary degree overseas (even at those institutions whose veterinary degrees we do not recognise) is able to join the Register as an MRCVS by passing the Statutory Membership Examination.

We will also be regularly updating the profession as the situation regarding Britain’s relationship with the European Union develops.


I am a UK citizen who is intending to study for a veterinary degree in Europe. Should I now change my plans?

At this time of uncertainty it is difficult to say what the impact of the EU Referendum will be on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) Directive that allows European vets to practise in the UK and vice-versa and it may be some time before we do know.

However, we will be working with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to minimise any disruption from the transition process.

It is also important to remember that, ultimately, anyone who has studied a veterinary degree overseas (even at those institutions whose veterinary degrees we do not recognise) is able to join the Register as an MRCVS by passing the Statutory Membership Examination.

We will also be regularly updating the profession as the situation regarding Britain’s relationship with the European Union develops.


I am a non-British EU/EEA citizen who is currently studying for a veterinary degree in Europe. When I finish my degree, will I be able to come and work in the UK?

At this time of uncertainty it is difficult to say what the impact of the EU Referendum will be on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) Directive that allows European vets to practise in the UK and vice-versa and it may be some time before we do know.

However, we will be working with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to minimise any disruption from the transition process.

It is also important to remember that, ultimately, anyone who has studied a veterinary degree overseas (even at those institutions whose veterinary degrees we do not recognise) is able to join the Register as an MRCVS by passing the Statutory Membership Examination.

However, although being on the Register is a prerequisite to working as a veterinary surgeon in the UK, registration does not give the individual an automatic right to work in the UK and this may be dependent on post-Brexit arrangements regarding working rights for non-UK citizens.  

We will also be regularly updating the profession as the situation regarding Britain’s relationship with the European Union develops.

I am a non-British EU/EEA citizen with a veterinary nursing qualification from the EU. Can I still apply to the RCVS to become a veterinary nurse in the UK?

Yes, we are still currently accepting applications to join the Register of Veterinary Nurses from those trained in the EU. Please contact the Veterinary Nursing Department on 020 7202 0788 or vetnursing@rcvs.org.uk for further information on how to apply.

I am a non-British EU/EEA citizen who is currently working as a veterinary nurse in the UK. How will the result of the referendum affect my ability to work in the UK?

We recognise, and sympathise with, the anxiety and stress that the result of the EU Referendum may be causing for non-British EU citizens currently working or intending to work in the UK and recognise the huge contribution made by European veterinary nurses in the UK.

At this time of uncertainty it is difficult for us to say what the long-term impact of the result of the Referendum will mean for veterinary nurses who are non-British EU citizens and working, or intending to work, in the UK. However, non-British EU citizens who are Registered Veterinary Nurses will be able to retain the status when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

However, although being on the Register is a prerequisite to working as a veterinary nurse in the UK, registration does not give the individual an automatic right to work in the UK and this may be dependent on post-Brexit arrangements regarding right to work for non-UK citizens.  

Currently, the situation is business as usual and this is expected to be the case for some time. If the Government enacts Article 50 – which formalises the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the EU – there will be a negotiation period that is expected to take a minimum of two years, with the possibility of negotiations being extended further.

 We will be regularly updating the profession as the situation regarding Britain’s relationship with the European Union develops.

 

This page was last updated on Friday 8 July 2016

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