UK Business Visitors to the EU:

One Size Does Not Fit All

UK Business Visitors to the EU: One Size Does Not Fit All

European Union (EU) business visitors going to the UK have a very clear set of rules and regulations to follow (in case you missed it, read our blog post here.) This week we turn our focus to UK business visitors travelling to the EU. UK nationals who need to travel, work, or live in the EU face more complex scenarios than EU nationals travelling to the UK. Because the EU does not have universal immigration legislation in place across its 27-member states, each country enforces its own immigration system and laws.

Although the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) of 24 December 2020 aims to simplify and standardise the definition of permissible business activities across the EU, some member states have opted out of one or more allowed activities or have expressed reservations regarding the TCA’s application. At the time of this writing, there is little or no guidance yet on how the different EU member states will interpret the list of activities provided in the TCA. This uncertainty and variation in regulations makes it all the more important to ensure that your business travellers remain compliant with each country’s travel laws.

All that being said, a good starting point to determining whether a UK national needs a visa is looking at Short-Term Stay vs. Long-Term Stay. More nuanced assessments beyond duration of stay must be made before a UK national has the green light to travel visa-free, and we will explore these factors in the upcoming weeks.

Short-Term Stay (Less than 90 Days) - Visa-free travel for UK nationals for tourist and business purposes (except in case of paid work) for a period up to 90 days during any 180-day period. *Schengen Regulation applies.

Long-Term Stay (Longer than 90 Days) - UK nationals no longer have the freedom to stay visa-free in the EU for a period longer than 90 days; therefore, working, studying, starting a business, or living in the EU requires that an appropriate permit be obtained.

It is important to note that the risks are high for non-compliance with each country’s regulations. Protect your organisation and travellers from severe penalties for non-compliance by using the Post-Brexit Business Travel Assessment. Within 3 to 5 minutes, business visitors are offered guidance on what is required for travel as well as a Support Letter to make travel entry as easy as possible.

Next week we’ll examine short-term travel in the Schengen Area. CIBTvisas stands ready to support you and your travel program. Contact your dedicated CIBTvisas Account Manager today for more information. Don’t have an Account Manager? Contact us.


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