From 1 January 2021, the free movement of people, goods and services between the UK and the EU will end. This means significant differences in how people live, work and travel. Below are the most significant changes you need to know.
The European Health Card is no longer valid.
The EHIC card that entitled state-provided medical treatment in EU countries in the event of illness or accident will not be valid anymore.
Instead, British Nationals can apply for a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) online. A GHIC gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in the European Union (EU), much like EHIC.
If you are one of the following, you should get a new GHIC card from January 2021:
If you are a British student already studying in an EU country, you need to apply for a new GHIC, which will only be valid in the country you’re studying in until the end of your course.
New passport colour
As of 1 January 2021, you must have at least six months left on your passport, which needs to be less than ten years old, to travel to most EU countries. This rule does not apply to travel to Ireland.
If you're on a holiday of under 90 days to the EU, you will not need a visa to travel, but you might need it for trips longer than that for work, study or business travel.
All new passports issued from mid-2021 will be blue - but burgundy passports will still be valid until they're replaced.
ETIAS for UK citizens travelling to Europe after Brexit
British citizens and European citizens continue to enjoy visa-free short term visits between the UK and EU nation-states. This is laid out in Article VSTV.1 of the agreement:
“...both parties provide for visa-free travel for short-term visits in respect of their nationals in accordance with their domestic law.”
Although British citizens will not need a visa to visit Europe, they will need an ETIAS visa waiver from 2022. The EU Commission has confirmed that UK citizens will need to apply for ETIAS to cross an external Schengen Area border after Brexit. The Schengen Area includes your favourite holiday destinations like France, Italy and Spain.
You can apply for the ETIAS online using your identification papers. Once a British citizen has crossed an external Schengen border with ETIAS they can move around the borderless travel zone without facing further checkpoints.
New rules for EU citizens in the UK
If you are a citizen of the EU or EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) country, your rights to stay in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021.
If you have a valid ‘indefinite leave to remain’ or ‘indefinite leave to enter’ status from the UK government, you do not need to do anything to continue living in the UK. Still, you can choose to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. If you don’t, you need to apply for either the EU Settlement Scheme or become a UK citizen if you qualify.
Find out if you are qualified for the EU Settlement Scheme here. You’ll get settled status if you’re successful.
New points-based immigration system: what you need to know
Applications have opened for people applying for visas to come and work in the UK from 1 January. From the start of 2021, European Union (EU) citizens will be treated the same way as those from the rest of the world.
To qualify for a visa, migrant workers must score at least 70 points. There are many ways you can score points, this includes;
For more information, visit our other articles that go into more detail on how to apply for a Sponsor License to employ overseas workers or apply and obtain settlement in the UK under the Skilled Worker visa route.
OneLaw Chambers is here to help
At OneLaw Chambers, our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers regularly assist with Immigration and Visa applications in order for applicants to relocate to and settle in the UK. We have assisted many foreign nationals to prepare and submit successful Immigration and Visa applications and we have represented clients from all over the world. We are well equipped to prepare and submit your Skilled Worker Visa Route application.
Whether you require expert immigration advice on the Immigration Rules requirements, an independent immigration assessment of your prospects of qualifying for the Skilled Worker Visa Route or professional immigration representation with preparing your Skilled Worker Visa Route application, our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers can help you.
We are committed to ensuring that our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers prepare every immigration visa application with utmost quality and skill to achieve a successful outcome every time. Our Immigration Solicitors and Barristers operate in a friendly and cooperative manner to provide our clients with the best client care and service during the entire immigration application process.