Free movement has ended – Sohan Sidhu, from Ellisons Solicitors, explains what's changed since Brexit
On December 31, 2020, the Brexit transition period ended and from January 1, 2021, there is no longer any free movement to the UK for European Union (EU) citizens.
EU citizens are still able to travel to the UK for short trips without needing a visa, provided they are in possession of a valid passport while they are in the UK.
From October 1, 2021, however, EU citizens will only be able to enter the UK if they hold a valid passport and national identity cards will no longer be accepted unless the individual comes within certain designated categories.
EU citizens can remain in the UK as visitors without a visa for a period of up to six months. Travel to the UK in such circumstances will therefore be entirely possible but if the EU citizen is looking to remain in the UK for a period longer than six months, then they will require a visa.
Since January 1, EU citizens looking to enter the UK in order to work have needed to apply for a Skilled Worker visa and they need to be sponsored by an employer who has a Sponsorship Licence from the Home Office.
Whilst previously EU citizens could freely work in the UK, they will now need to apply for visas and, for the first time, pay very significant visa fees including contributing towards the UK’s National Health Service by paying the NHS Health Surcharge.
From January 1, therefore, newly arriving EU citizens have been required to navigate the UK’s complex immigration system in order to be able to work here.
- For advice on this or any other immigration matter, contact Sohan Sidhu by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 01284 763333. Website: www.ellisonssolicitors.com/office/bury-st-edmunds/