UK: More Stringent EU/EEA/Swiss Post-Transition Rules Announced for Entry

December 22, 2020 Lucy Halse

Key Points

  • The UK government has announced more stringent guidance for EU/EEA/Swiss travelers post-Brexit
  • Swiss/EU/EEA travelers must use their passports to enter the UK starting on October 1, 2021
  • Some travelers may use their national ID card to enter the UK through December 31, 2025
  • New rules apply for work authorization

Overview

The Government of the UK has announced stricter guidance for travelers from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland following the Brexit transition.

What are the Changes?

Starting on October 1, 2021, travelers from Switzerland, the European Economic Area (EEA), and European Union (EU) must use their passports to enter the UK. However, travelers may be able to use their national identity (ID) card through December 31, 2025 to enter the UK in limited situations.

Who is Affected?

The change applies to individuals with Swiss, EU, or EEA national ID cards.

Cardholders can enter the UK with their existing cards before October 1, 2021. From October 1, 2021 through December 21, 2025, individuals will only be permitted to enter the UK if they have an EU, EEA, or Swiss national ID card and belong to one of the following categories:

  • Pre-settled or settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • EUSS family permit
  • Frontier worker permit
  • Swiss service provider
  • S2 healthcare visitor

Additionally, new rules will apply to start dates for work authorization. Individuals with certificates of sponsorship issued before January 1, 2021 who have filed their applications on time can start work before their work visa applications are approved. Individuals whose certificates of sponsorship are assigned on or after January 1, 2021 must wait to work until their work visa applications are approved, unless they currently have a visa that allows them to work in their position.

What Should Employers and Applicants Know?

Swiss, EU, and EEA nationals who have been traveling to the UK using just their national ID cards should ensure they carry their passports when traveling starting on October 1, 2021 unless they meet an exemption.

Looking Ahead

Employers may need to adjust their employees’ start dates due to the new requirements.  

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Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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