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BREXIT: European Parliament Approves Visa-Free Access to EU for UK Nationals Post-Brexit
April 4, 2019
On 4 April 2019, the European Parliament approved a draft law exempting UK nationals from visa requirements to enter the EU for short visits (up to 90 days in any 180-day period), once the UK leaves the EU.
The United Kingdom will be included in the list of more than 60 countries whose nationals do not need to request a visa to enter the EU for business, tourism or to visit relatives or friends. The visa exemption does not provide for the right to work in the EU.
The legislation will apply from the day following Brexit, on the basis of reciprocity – If the UK introduces a visa requirement for nationals of any EU member state, visa requirements for UK nationals may be reintroduced.
The visa waiver will apply in all EU member states (except Ireland, which has its own visa policy), and in the non-EU Schengen countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The rights of UK nationals in Ireland (and vice-versa), including visa-free travel, are covered under the 1949 Ireland Act, which will continue to apply if the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal.
The draft legislation will now have to be formally adopted by the Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers) and published in the Official Journal of the EU before 12 April, in case of a possible no-deal Brexit on that date.
Employers who may be affected by Brexit are encouraged to contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.