Guidance for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens arriving to the UK after 31 December 2020

  1. Arriving in the UK as a visitor

Citizens from the European Union or European Economic Area can enter the UK on or after 1 January 2021 as a visitor without the need of a visa.

Your passport or ID document should be valid for the whole time you are in the UK (up to 6 months). Visitors will be granted six months leave to enter as a visitor and will not be able to work or access public funds whilst they are in the UK.

Visitors from the European Union or European Economic Area, who are not registered under the EUSS can enter the UK with their national ID card up until 1st October 2021. After this date, all nationals visiting the UK will need a passport to enter the UK and will not be granted entry with a national ID card.

For full guidance about visiting the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen please visit the GOV.UK website.

 

  1. Joining EU, EEA or Swiss family members in the UK

Family members (EEA and non-EEA) can join their EU, EEA or Swiss family in the UK via the EU Settlement Scheme family permit. This family relationship must have existed before 31st December 2020 (other than for Swiss nationals where the provisions are more generous). The only exception to this is for children born to a relevant sponsor (a person who has status under the EUSS). If they are born outside the UK at any time, they can join the sponsor in the United Kingdom.

The categories of ‘joining family members’ of a relevant sponsor who can apply for a EUSS family permit are:

  • Spouse
  • Civil partner
  • Specified spouse or civil partner of a Swiss citizen
  • Durable partner (unmarried partnership akin to marriage or civil partnership)
  • Child, grandchild or great-grandchild (including of the spouse or civil partner)
  • Dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent (including of the spouse or civil partner)

Durable partners within the UK would need EEA/EUSS Family Permit or Biometric Residence Card issued under the regulations (before 31 December 2020) to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. However, they can still apply from abroad, in certain circumstances, if the relationship existed with an EEA national (or relevant sponsor), resident in the UK prior to 31 December 2020.  If applying from outside of the UK to obtain an EUSS family permit, an individual (EEA or non-EEA national) must arrange and attend for a biometric appointment in their country of origin. Once issued, EUSS family permits are valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

Once a family member is in the UK via the EUSS family permit route, they are eligible to and have up until 30 June 2021 to apply for pre-settled status (allows family members to live and work in the UK beyond 30 June 2021), or within three months of their arrival date if they arrive after 1 April 2021. As part of this process, the individual must book an appointment with UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) in order to obtain a biometric residence card. More information as to what must be done before an application is booked can be found on the GOV.UK website.

To find UKVCAS service points near you, please visit their website.

If a family member secures pre-settled status, they should create a ‘share code’ which acts as digital proof of their immigration status. This shared code can then be viewed by authorities, shown at ports of entry or viewed by employers, proving an individual’s pre-settled immigration status. To create this code online you need your passport/national ID card number, date of birth and the mobile number or email address- all details must be the same as those used when you made your application for pre-settled status. You can create a share code on the government’s website.

More information regarding who are ‘eligible family members’ and the evidence to demonstrate this existing family relationship, required for this family permit, is available on the GOV.UK website. Find out who is eligible now.

  1. Entering the UK with a visa via a work route under the Skills-Based Immigration System (PBIS)

Citizens from the European Union or European Economic Area who arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021 to work must apply for a visa under the new Points-Based Immigration System (PBIS). This visa must be applied in advance of entry to the UK, only once you have a visa can you enter the UK to work.

EEA nationals will be issued with an e-visa which can be viewed through an online checking service.

To obtain a work visa under the Skills-Based Immigration System (PBIS) you must meet various requirements (for example, job offer from an approved sponsor, salary level, English level, sector of work, skill level) of the Skills-Based Immigration work visa routes. For each requirement met, you will score points. You must meet 70 points. Visas are then awarded by the Home Office to those who gain enough points against the different work visa routes. Work visa routes under the Points-Based Immigration System include:

  1. Skilled Worker Route
  2. Health and Care Visa is part of this work visa route
  3. Global Talent Route
  4. Graduate Route
  5. Intra-Company Transfer
  6. Other Routes
    1. Start-Up and Innovator
    2. Health and Care Visa
    3. Creative Route
    4. Sporting Routes
    5. Seasonal Workers Pilot
    6. Youth Mobility Scheme

Companies who sponsor your work visa under this immigration route must have a sponsor license in order to hire workers from outside the UK. Without this, they will receive a fine. The Government has published a list of companies who are registered sponsors on their website.

  1. Other forms of entry to the UK for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens

The UK Government has published guidance for those who wish to enter the UK as a business or school traveller on their website. The website includes additional information that travellers may wish to read before entry to the UK.

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