- Business and staff travel between the EU and the UK has changed following the end of the transition period.
- Visa-free travel will be granted but with (local) restrictions on work.
- The EU and the UK to negotiate business mobility to replace the freedom of movement.
- Under the Free Trade Agreement there will be visa-free travel to EU for business and leisure purposes: 90 days in any 180 day period. On the day you travel, you’ll need your passport to both:
- have at least 6 months left
- be less than 10 years old (even if it has 6 months or more left)
Travelling to the EU for work
The following has to be considered when travelling for business or sending staff to an EU country:
There will be visa-free travel for business and leisure purposes: 90 days in any 180 day period, but paid activities will be restricted. Local employment laws will apply, a work permit may be necessary, and there may be requirements on professional qualifications (as the post-Brexit trade deal has ended the mutual recognition of professional qualifications), depending on the specific EU member state requirements.
In most cases, short-term business visitors can attend meetings in an EU country under visa-free travel. However, they will have to check for each country they do business in, which activities are allowed before they start carrying out work. These could include research, training, trade fairs and exhibitions, sales, purchasing, after-sales services, tourism, translation and interpretation.
Local employment laws and immigration laws will apply when sending staff to an EU country. Businesses may also have to pay double social security contributions. Freelancers may have to comply with local employment and immigration laws as well.
A business in the EU
You may consider opening an office in the EU. Please bear in mind that an EU country can impose stricter requirements on investors and foreign-owned businesses from outside the EU (e.g. with regard to capital, ownership or economic need). However, some countries have made it easier for non-EU citizens to set up a business for (e.g. through e-residency).
- Read the UK Government guidance on visiting EU after 1 January 2021.
- Check out the country guides to find out if your business activity or investment will require compliance with local rules.
- Read the guidance from the Government and the EU on setting up and owning a business in the EU.
- Read guidance for UK nationals in the EU, on living and working in EU countries.
- Find out about local immigration policies and work permits in EU member states and the EU Blue Card.
- Find out if your qualifications and licences will be recognised in the country you are active in via the Centre for Professional Qualifications (0871 226 2850, 11p per minute).
- Check the national contact points in the EU member states (scroll down the page).
- Check out UK and EU guidance on travel (passport requirements, roaming, insurance, driving permit etc.).
From 1 January 2021 the free movement of people has finished. UK nationals will need a visa for stays of longer than 90 days in the EU in a 180-day period. Additional border checks apply.
EU pet passports will no longer be valid.
European Health Insurance Cards, (EHIC) cards will remain valid until they expire.
EU Post-Transition Business Resource Hub
Support for firms to adapt to new rules for business and trade.
Employing UK Staff in the EU
Advice on employing UK nationals that work in the EU after the transition period.
Glossary of Brexit Terms
An overview of common terms to help you prepare for the end of the transition.