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EEA nationals visiting the UK after Brexit


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EEA nationals UK Brexit

What would happen to EEA nationals who want to visit the UK once the UK is not part of the EU anymore?

The UK government has for goal to stop free movement of people, meaning that EEA nationals will face immigration restrictions.

Free movement of people is the right of EEA nationals to come to any EU member states freely to live and work without the need to apply for a visa.

Once (and if) free movement has ended, EEA nationals will be able to come to the UK without a visa for a period up to 3 months. They will only need to present a valid and current passport or national ID of an EEA country, but they will not be able to work or study without applying for a visa.


What would happen for EEA nationals wishing to stay in the UK longer than 3 months and no deal Brexit has been reached?

The UK government aims to implement a new skills-based immigration system beginning of 2021, applying to all nationalities. This new immigration system is supposed to be based on skills and talent and ensure control of the UK border.

Some of the UK government’s proposals are to:

  • lower the skills threshold on the skilled workers’ route to include medium-skilled workers,
  • remove the cap on numbers of migrant workers,
  • abolish the Resident Labour Market Test in relation to Tier 2 General applications (the requirement to post the job ads for a certain period of time subject to further requirements)
  • open a new temporary short-term worker of all skill levels

You can access more information about this new skilled-based immigration system via this link:

Before it is implemented, EEA nationals will need to apply for European temporary leave to remain to stay longer than 3 months once free movement of people ends.

This will be a temporary visa granted for 36 months allowing the holder to live, work and study in the UK. Once the European temporary leave to remain expires, the EEA national will need to apply under the new skills-based immigration system.


However, it is important to note that the above can change depending on the future negotiations for a Brexit deal with the EU and the UK Parliament.

The above does not apply to Irish nationals who have the right to enter the UK without a visa to live, work and study and this will not change with the UK leaving the EU.

On another hand, you can access more information on British citizens living in the EU after Brexit in one of our articles via this link: 


Should you wish to discuss your immigration matter further please do not hesitate to contact our professional team of immigration solicitors at  or call us at 020 7487 8370.


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