Switzerland and UK: Post-Brexit Services Agreement Visa Flexibility Announced for 2021

December 11, 2020 Lucy Halse

Key Points

  • Switzerland and the UK will launch a limited visa-free service agreement arrangement in 2021
  • UK professionals can work in Switzerland and Swiss service providers can access the UK labor market visa-free for 90 days each year
  • The agreement starts on January 1, 2021 and lasts for two years
  • The agreement reduces the time and cost associated with obtaining a work visa for service providers working between the UK and Germany
  • Dependents cannot join service providers in the UK

Overview

Switzerland and the UK have announced a services agreement enabling UK professionals to work and travel in Switzerland without a visa or work authorization for up to 90 days per year. The agreement also gives Swiss service suppliers visa and work authorization free access to the UK labor market and the capacity to execute contracts for 90 days per year.

What are the Changes?

The Swiss-UK agreement will last for two years starting on January 1, 2021. The agreement allows qualified UK professionals and service workers to freely travel to and work in Switzerland without a visa or work authorization for up to 90 days per year. This will allow UK professionals to continue to conduct business in 2021 as they did throughout 2020. For the first 90 days that they are in Switzerland, UK professionals will not be subject to work permits, extended processing times, or economic interest tests.

Swiss service providers may execute contracts in the UK under the services agreement up to 90 days each year. Companies, employers, and self-employed individuals are considered service providers under the agreement. Service providers are subject to the UK Immigration Rules that govern their activities in Switzerland.

What Should Employers and Applicants Know?

The new services agreement does not permit dependents to join a service provider in the UK.

Looking Ahead

Following the Brexit transition, the agreement will facilitate and simplify Swiss-UK work and business activities by eliminating the cost and time associated with applying for a work visa in either country.

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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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