Journal Article

“I returned to being an immigrant”: onward Latin American migrants and Brexit

Published 13 April 2022 / By Domiziana Turcatti, Carlos Vargas-Silva

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We explore the experiences of Onward Latin American Migrants (OLAs) in London – individuals born in Latin America who live in London and hold EU passports – with the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), a programme developed by the British Government to register EU nationals as part of the Brexit process. Drawing from qualitative fieldwork, we show that prior experience of being subject to immigration control in Southern Europe, including periods of irregularity, made OLAs anxious about maintaining lawful residence, favouring their uptake of the EUSS in an effort to re-secure their status and keep their rights. However, many of OLAs’ non-EU family members could not apply successfully to the scheme given difficulties in meeting the eligibility criteria – a pattern exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. For many OLAs, the EUSS ultimately signified a loss of rights and secured status which took them long to achieve and a return to a position of uncertainty.


Turcatti, D., & Vargas-Silva, C. (2022). “I returned to being an immigrant”: Onward Latin American migrants and Brexit, Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies;