UK Visa Options for European (EU/EEA/Swiss) Nationals

Free movement for the EU/EEA/Swiss nationals in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) came to an end on the 31st December 2020.


For an EU/EEA/Swiss national it is no longer sufficient to arrive in the UK and prove your right to live and work in the UK on your European passport alone.

If you arrived in the UK before the 31st December 2020, then you had the legal obligation to register yourself for the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

The compulsory registration has now ended on the 30th June 2021. If you arrived in the UK and were living in the UK before the 31st December 2020, then if you failed to register yourself and your family members, you are now living in the UK illegally. An enforcement action to remove you from the UK can be taken.


What are your options if you newly arrive in the UK on the 1st January 2021 or after?


Fewer UK visa options remain available to the new arrivals from the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

These are Innovator Founder, Global Talent and a Skilled Worker visa.

 If you are an entrepreneur then most probably you should be exploring the sponsor licence for your business and a scale up visa for yourself.

These options apply only if you are seeking to establish long term residence rights that lead you to obtaining Indefinite leave to remain and possibly, British citizenship once the requirements are met.

Explore UK immigration routes.


Skilled Worker visa


All EU/EEA/Swiss nationals arriving in the UK from the 1st January 2021 are expected to have secured their worker visa before they arrive in the UK.

It is the legal requirement for the employer employing EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who have not secured the pre-settled or settled status before the 30th June 2021, to have a sponsor licence.

Perhaps, the most acute question for the EU/EEA/Swiss nationals is whether the worker visa rules are fair to them.

Previously, it was sufficient to demonstrate EU/EEA/Swiss passport or the identity card in order to work in the UK. The EU/EEA/Swiss nationals were treated on equal footing with the British nationals in the UK. 

The employers were not required to hold specific sponsor licences in order to employ them.


Innovator Founder visa


This UK immigration category replaced the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Increasingly over the years the requirements were being applied more restrictively and made it difficult for the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applicants to succeed.

An investment made into the UK business was irrelevant if it was not possible to demonstrate that the applicant was a serial entrepreneur and created a number of successful businesses throughout their lifetime. The rejection rate was 75%.

For an Innovator Founder visa application to be successful, the business idea and the business itself needs to be new, innovative and scalable. 

Your new, innovative and scalable business idea needs to be endorsed by the body authorised by the Home Office.


Other UK Visa Options for Europeans


Unfortunately, the Tier 1 Investor visa is now abolished and it is no longer possible to apply.

The Representative of Overseas Business visa is now replaced with Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Business Worker visa.

Unlike its predecessor, Global Business Mobility – UK Expansion Business Worker visa does not allow the employee to settle permanently in the UK. This is a temporary arrangement only and does not facilitate long-term immigration to the UK.

Research more suitable UK immigration solutions here.


What if You Have Family in the UK?


Family visas for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens was a long-term itching point in the UK.

Ever since EU law is a separate body of law and out of the hands of a UK legislator when the UK was an established member state of the EU. 

There was nothing that the UK could do about it. The UK was expected to follow the rules and make sure that the procedures are compliant with the requirements of EU law.

This no longer applies after Brexit. In fact, it is largely accepted that the right to regulate UK immigration in the UK and from the UK was a sentiment that tipped the scales in the Brexit vote.

We need to look at when a family relationship was formed with the person who is settled in the UK.


Family Relationships formed before the 1st January 2021


If your family relationship was formed with the settled person under the EUSS in the UK, then old EU rules will apply to you and your family. 

However, the strict interpretation and application applied in the UK may make it difficult or impossible to bring some of your family members over.

This is in particular so, if your dependents are treated as non-European family members even though they hold EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship because they have not secured their own settled or pre-settled status in the UK.


Family Relationships formed after the 31st December 2020


Your family will need to follow the UK rules that apply for the British or persons settled in the UK.

UK family rules are known to be particularly harsh as the minimum financial requirement is applied to UK resident sponsors.

Financial requirement means the minimum annual income you need to receive or minimum savings your sponsor needs to have in order to be eligible to apply to be with your settled family member in the UK.


Get It Right the First Time Round!


Book a call with me to discuss your Global Wealth Strategy as you invest, operate or relocate to the UK or Switzerland. You may submit your enquiry here.

Book a call with me to discuss your UK immigration application. Submit your UK immigration enquiry here if you need assistance with any UK immigration application.

You will be first guided to a payment page when you choose “book a call” option. After making the payment, you will be able to choose the most convenient date and time for our Zoom meeting. You can report a payment issue here.

Saule Voluckyte, M.A.E.S, LL.B, FAIA

I have been working exclusively with UHNWI in Mayfair, London since January 2008. I built specialist knowledge and expertise required to serve ultra high net worth individuals investing, operating and relocating to the UK or Switzerland.

Within the industry, I am the single adviser who is able to traverse the different areas of expertise and bring a comprehensive approach across: global structuring, UK immigration, international taxation and FOREX to develop their global wealth strategy, while they build, grow and expand their wealth worldwide.

Previous experience as one of the senior advisors for the government, made me a go-to person when delicate and uncomfortable scenarios involving heads of state need to be handled with care and preserve privacy.

Contact a family office specialist to discuss your needs.

As somebody who specializes in tax, wealth management of ultra high net worth individuals’ assets and legal requirements for high net worth families, my sole purpose is to help you protect your family’s legacy.

Should you have a specific enquiry on how to start your own family office, please book a call below.

If your specific enquiry is about how to invest, operate or relocate to the UK or Switzerland and you are looking to align your UK immigration, tax, overseas wealth concerns and benefit from favourable currency conversions and other bespoke services to UHNWI.

Submit your enquiry using this form

Visited 1 times, 1 visit(s) today
Share This